Top 5 Reasons to Become a River Monitor

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SYRCL is beginning its 20th River Monitoring season soon, and we need your help! 

We are looking for dedicated, environmentally-driven, river-loving volunteers to monitor water quality at 35 sites throughout the Yuba watershed. The vast amount of water quality data we have collected over the last 19 years has been crucial in protecting and restoring the Yuba River watershed. Join our team and help us celebrate 20 years of this indispensable tradition!

Top five reasons to become a River Monitor:

  1. Be part of a dedicated team of citizen scientists and environmental stewards working to keep the Yuba clean and safe.
  2. See the Yuba watershed in all seasons! Monitors visit their adopted site once a month from March-November to collect data and make valuable observations. Observe the Yuba’s beautiful spring flowers, summer sun, fall colors, and winter flows!
  3. Learn how water flow and other factors impact water chemistry. Each month we test for pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity, Temperature, Turbidity and Bacteria. Learn why all these parameters matter and how they affect habitat quality!
  4. Once trained, River Monitors can further develop their skills by volunteering with SYRCL’s other river science projects (ex. meadow monitoring, storm sampling).
  5. Contribute data to support SYRCL’s River Monitoring Plan, which focuses on long-term trend monitoring, abandoned mines, dam-affected reaches, the Upper South Yuba River Watershed, bacterial contamination of recreational waters, nutrient and chemical runoff, and invasive/sensitive species lists.

Special thanks to Ralph, Nancy and Sol Henson for this video.

Interested in becoming a River Monitor for the 2020 season?

Let us know you’re interested in registering for the orientation, March 25th, and the field training, April 4th, by RSVPing on our online volunteer calendar.

Orientation will be held on Wednesday, March 25th from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at the SYRCL office located at 313 Railroad Ave. in Nevada City. At this introductory evening session, you will learn about the background of SYRCL’s River Monitoring Program, with an emphasis on what and why we monitor.

The mandatory field training is scheduled for Saturday, April 4th     from 9:00 am – 1:30 pm. During this hands-on training, you will               become familiar with SYRCL’s sampling protocol, practice working with the sampling equipment, and learn to fill out our data-sheets. This training will be located at the Bridgeport Crossing at the South Yuba River State Park, on Pleasant Valley Rd.

March 14th is the first monthly water quality monitoring day of 2020.

Our trained River Monitors will head out to collect water samples and fill out their data sheets! River Monitors have the opportunity to collect vital water quality data, while also getting to enjoy the magnificent canyons of the Yuba.

The 2019 River Monitoring Schedule (second Saturday of each month)

March 14   |   April 11   |   May 9   |   June 13   |   July 13
August 8   |   September 12   |   October 10   |   November 14

SYRCL volunteers make the River Monitoring program one of the strongest citizen-based monitoring projects in the nation. Thank you to all our dedicated citizen scientists who make it all possible! We are actively seeking new River Monitors to fill a few positions at various sites and to help with maintenance and preparation work in the office.

Contact Jaclyn Sherman, 2020 River Monitoring Coordinator, at: or 530.265.5961 ex.213 for more details.

We invite you to visit the River Monitoring page to learn more about the program! You can also download the extensive data collected by our River Monitors from the California Environmental Data Exchange Network at

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