Oceanside CA— Beginning October 7th, the San Luis Rey River’s water quality will be monitored with all new technology generously fundraised by the Golden State Flycasters. Located in Oceanside, Golden State Flycasters is a nonprofit organization and fly fishing club dedicated to the preservation of fisheries and fly fishing. GSF is also the San Diego Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Chapter 920.
The equipment purchased by San Diego Coastkeeper are meters that allow the Coastkeeper monitoring team to take spot measurements of several physical properties of water. Much like measuring a person’s heart rate and blood pressure, these indicators are not necessarily pollutants themselves, but help alert monitors to whether or not there is a problem in the river.
The equipment will monitor:
Dissolved Oxygen (DO)
The DO probes measure the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. Oxygen is essential for both plants and animals, but very low levels in water can be harmful to fish and other aquatic organisms. Excessive nutrients can decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen in water, creating hypoxic (low oxygen) or anoxic (no oxygen) conditions that are stressful to aquatic organisms.
Specific conductance or conductivity is a measurement of water’s ability to conduct electrical currents, and is an indicator of inorganic dissolved solids such as chloride, sulfate, sodium, calcium and others. Salts are often the biggest contributor to high conductivity, but high conductance readings also can come from industrial pollution or urban runoff, such as water flowing from streets, buildings and parking lots. Like other physical properties of water we measure, the aquatic flora and fauna live within a narrow range of conductivity.
A measure of how acidic or basic (alkaline) the water is. As the pH decreases, water becomes more acidic. As water becomes more basic, the pH increases. Monitoring pH is important, again because aquatic life have narrow tolerance ranges, but also because changes in pH may alter the concentrations of other substances in water to a more toxic form. For example, an increase in pH (above 8.5) enhances the conversion of nontoxic ammonia (ammonium ion) to a toxic form of ammonia (un-ionized ammonia).
“Our relationship with the Golden State Flycasters (GSF) goes back to at least 2010, maybe earlier. Jack Marshall coordinates with us to organize the bi-monthly field monitoring of San Luis Rey River and also wrote the successful grant proposal to the International Federation of Fly Fishers (now Fly Fishers International) for part of the funds we received from GSF to replace our equipment.,” said a spokesperson for San Diego Coastkeeper. “This partnership will mean the residents of Oceanside will begin to see and benefit from more detailed and accurate data about the quality of the water they use every day.”
To learn more about Golden State Flycasters visit: goldenstateflycasters.org/
San Diego Coastkeeper’s mission to protect and restore fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County would not be possible without functioning equipment. To learn more about San Diego Coastkeeper, visit www.sdcoastkeeper.org
To learn more about what the City of Oceanside does to monitor our local water, read ‘Watching Over Our Waterways‘