Bacteria in our streams
Rogue Riverkeeper is working to identify and address sources of E. coli fecal bacteria pollution throughout the basin as well as report data in the Swim Guide that provides recommendations on recreation sites based on water quality data. Our bacteria studies are a collaboration with Southern Oregon University, DEQ and various partners including local governments and watershed councils. The studies seek to provide guidance to better target work to improve water quality in the focus stream.
We are looking to expand our water quality monitoring to add more sites reported in the Swim Guide and look at sites lacking data to improve our understanding of basin water quality. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator (frances (at) rogueriverkeeper (dot) org) if you would like to help with this project.
Work on specific streams:
In 2010 we worked on Ashland Creek, producing the Ashland Creek E. coli Bacteria Study that was released in 2011. We found that the overwhelming majority of the pollution came from a single irrigation ditch outfall to the creek.
Little Butte Creek
In 2011 we brought our focus to Little Butte Creek, sampling all the tributaries listed by the State of Oregon as water quality impaired for fecal bacteria. Our data shows that an overall 59% reduction in pollution is needed to meet healthy criteria, and some streams need up to a 91% decrease in fecal pollution! The Rogue Riverkeeper Little Butte Creek Bacteria Study 2011 was released in spring 2012 and contains our findings and recommendations.
In the summer of 2012 we worked closely with a number of partners to collect and analyze water samples for fecal bacteria of Evans Creek. Compared to data from 2004, Evans Creek's bacteria levels are much improved 8 years later. Read more here about our Evans Creek study.