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Rivers & streams temperature monitoring

We collect data on the temperature of rivers and streams across the state.

Our Continuous Temperature Monitoring program collects data to determine and analyze temperature trends and measure whether streams meet state minimum and maximum standards to support aquatic and environmental health.

We continuously log summer stream temperatures, with 30-minute monitoring intervals at most long-term and current basin ambient monitoring stations, as well as at some stations needed for special studies.

We have also collected thermal images of many river systems.

Long-term and real-time temperature monitoring

A closeup of a still stream surface. A metal rod sticks up from the bottom with a white tape to mark it. A yellow circle just below the water is a temperature data logger.

Temperature data logger in stream.

River and Stream Water Quality - Temperature Monitoring is a map-based application showing our continuous temperature water quality monitoring network. Temperature data is gathered from loggers at various stations July through September. As resources and locations allow, we are establishing more year-round temperature monitoring stations, and in some instances deploying seasonal oxygen monitoring.

We generally deploy the loggers that collect summer data by early July and retrieve them in late September. We usually swap out the loggers at our year-round stations following a similar (June-September) schedule.

Thermal infrared and video river surveys

We conducted infrared river surveys of several rivers in 2003 - 2004 from small planes equipped with cameras and infrared sensors. These multicolored images show warm and cold spots in the river systems and are useful for detecting cool versus warm streams within a watershed, cool reaches within a stream, and cool habitats within a reach.

We are working to make them easily available in a browser-based format. Meanwhile, images are available upon request.

We have thermal images for these rivers:

  • Deschutes
  • Naches
  • Oakland Bay
  • Palouse
  • Skagit
  • Stillaguamish
  • Walla Walla
  • Wenatchee
  • Willapa