Bessette Creek Temperature Study

Project Overview:

Installation of 18 temperature loggers within the Bessette Creek watershed to monitor stream temperatures during hot summer months. Data will be used to conduct a stream temperature modelling exercise in order to pinpoint areas where riparian shading can provide the most benefits in terms of stream cooling effects

Project Goals:

Maintain two real-time hydrometric stations on Harris Creek
Collect discharge and water level measurements to develop rating curves for stations
Install 18 temperature loggers in the Bessette watershed during the summer months
Manage data and share with FLNRORD and Ecofish Research
Trial as a proof of concept – drone map segments of Lawson, Creighton, Duteau, and Bessette Creeks, with a thermal infrared camera in August of 2021 and February 2022.

Project Plan:

Very low flows and high stream temperatures are common in the Bessette watershed, and presents a stressor to aquatic life, including threatened Coho and endangered Chinook populations. We will install 18 temperature loggers to monitor stream temperatures throughout the Bessette watershed. Data collected will be used in a temperature modelling exercise conducted by Ecofish Research to pinpoint where riparian planting would provide the greatest shading potential. We will also map out with a drone the areas near our data collection loggers to observe temperature variations. Furthermore, we will continue to operate two hydrometric stations on Harris Creek (one station is funded by another project), which were installed in 2020, to assess the effects of different flow release patterns on stream temperature. Data collected from this project will inform future riparian restoration efforts, as well as inform Provincial water managers on whether high stream temperatures can be mitigated by flow release from upstream storage.

Project Progress/Status:

Completing RPAS (drone) surveys to be completed directly over small sections of Bessette, Lawson, Duteau, and Harris Creeks.

Project Location:

Bessette Creek, Harris Creek, Duteau Creek, Creighton Creek

Project Team:

Elinor McGrath – ONA Project Lead
Brenley Yuan – ONA Field Lead
Skyeler Folks – ONA Field Biologist
Okanagan Indian Band – Field Technicians

Project Partnerships:

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD)
Ecofish Research
University of British Columbia
Real Estate Foundation of BC