On 13 October 2002, as part of the Year of Clean Water's National Water Monitoring Day, NANFA members sampled four stream sites in the Bayou Pierre drainage of western Mississippi. On 05 October 2003, as part of the data-acquisition effort for World Water Monitoring Day, two of those members, Tyler Strange (LA) and Jan Hoover (MS) re-sampled those same four sites.

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  Lower White Oak Creek at Highway 18 shows pronounced bank erosion. Water was clearer than last year and pH higher.

  Water levels were substantially lower than the previous year creating riffles, backwaters, and flowing side channels. A large gravel bar was exposed....

  ....that contained numerous fossils of marine invertebrates....

  ....including this bryozoan.

  Tallahalla Creek, a major tributary to White Oak Creek, was sampled at Highway 27.  Water levels here were also appreciably lower than last year. 

   Turbidity (opaqueness) of the water was measured with a turbidimeter.  Temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen were measured with a Hydrolab multi-parameter water quality probe.   Water was clearer and pH higher than in 2002. 

  Upper White Oak Creek was sampled at Low Water Bridge Road.  Like the the other sites, water was lower, clearer, and more alkaline than in the previous year.  After recording water quality data, fishes were collected by seining and a species list compiled.  Composition of the fish community was similar to that of last year: striped, longnose, and blacktail shiners, harlequin and redfin darters, brindled madtom, and longear.  Also collected (and carefully released) was a single specimen of the endemic and federally endangered bayou darter. 

  The tiny, unnamed, springfed tributary to White Oak Creek was also re-sampled.   Water quality and fish community were similar to those of last year.   Effects of flow on dissolved oxygen and fishes were pronounced.  Normally, two small waterfalls provide flow to two pools of equal size and depth (in the photo - ahead of and on each side of Tyler).  Water level this year, inches lower than usual, provided flow only to one of the pools.  The stagnant pool, with a dissolved oxygen of only 1.37 ppm (< 4 is considered hypoxic) was inhabited by a single striped shiner.  The flowing pool, with dissolved oxygen of 6.83 ppm, contained several striped shiner and creek chub, as well as a creek chubsucker, bluegill, longear, and blacktail shiner.

Effects of lower water levels in the Bayou Pierre drainage on water quality were pronounced demonstrating the need for repeated and spatially extensive sampling necessary to detect any long-term changes in water quality.  NANFA members have a strong commitment to the conservation of aquatic resources and a broad geographic distribution.  As such, they are ideally suited to participate in the ongoing efforts of World Water Monitoring Day to increase public awareness of water issues and to build a meaningful, volunteer-generated database.