Restoration Planning: TU topographic studies

Stream restoration specialists, Seth Coffman and James Fulcher, from Trout Unlimited take elevation and survey measurements to develop a targeted restoration plan for the stream below Millwood at Carter Hall.

Tall vertical banks contribute a tremendous amount of sediment to Spout Run and the restoration plan will ease the height and slope in targeted locations. Plantings will also help to stabilize the ground to minimize soil erosion.

New Spout Run stream monitors get their feet wet

The Spring weather cooperated last weekend as Gem Bingol of the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) led the streamside segment of her certification course in benthic macroinvertebrate testing. A certification exam was administer at the conclusion of the class.

The C Spout Run partnership has been recruiting volunteers to help monitor the health of our streams by checking the numbers and types of aquatic species that live in them. These certified volunteers will help gauge the effectiveness of efforts to bring back the watershed by sampling the animal life at various points several times a year.

Congratulations and thank you to our new class of certified volunteers. We look forward to sharing baseline and ongoing testing data with the Spout Run community as this project progresses.

Trees for TMDL – Planting in Boyce

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 1.17.25 PM

The Virginia Department of Forestry receives grant funds from U.S. Forest Service Region-8 for the purchase and planting of tree seedlings in impaired watersheds.   The grant, called “Trees for TMDL”, is distributed by the Virginia Department of Forestry to partners looking to install riparian buffers.  Clarke County was the recipient of a generous gift of $2,000.  These funds were used to plant over 200 seedlings in the Spout Run watershed at Boyce Elementary School, Powhatan School, and the Burwell Morgan Mill. Conservation Services, Inc. performed the planting.


Rescheduled for April 13: Clarke County Stream Monitoring Program, Training and Certification

Given the predicted 40 degree temperatures for Saturday, Saturday’s training is cancelled.  I realize I overestimated how warm the weather would be.  I think you would rather not freeze in order to participate!

Please put Saturday, April 13th at 1pm on your calendar for the rescheduled training date.

Thank you,

Gem Bingol
Piedmont Environmental Council

Clarke County Stream Monitoring Program Training and Certification

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 8.16.13 AMDate: Rescheduled for April 13 at 1:00 p.m.

Location: Powhatan School, streamside at Page Brook Run, by the bridge to the ball fields. Park in the back parking lot.

Learn how to perform the collection method for the Virginia Save Our Streams Protocol. Take the opportunity to become certified as a stream monitor afterwards.

Location: Powhatan School, streamside at Page Brook Run, by the bridge to the ball fields. Park in the back parking lot.

Bring: boots and notes from past classes, if you have them.

More for our instructor:

Hello Stream Monitors!

In-stream  training demonstration and practice will come first, followed by an opportunity to take the test to be certified.

For those who are unable to attend on the 9th, or need to retake the test, there will be an additional streamside training and certification opportunity in April, date TBD. Please let me know if you cannot make it on the 9th, but are still interested in becoming certified.

If you attended the classroom training, please remember to bring your notes. If you did not attend, I will have ID sheets available.
Please wear/bring boots or waders, as you will need to get in the stream in order to demonstrate proper collection technique.
If you’d like to have more opportunity to look at bugs online, you can check out these resources:
  — describes the characteristics of the various invertebrates that can be found.
  —  excellent set of pictures of each type of critter that you might find in the stream that you would have to identify.  It includes a wide variety of Mayflies, Stoneflies and Caddisflies with their specific characteristics visible.
  This is a fun site if you’d like to practice testing yourself–it’s an online test based on photos–doesn’t cover everything, but a good variety.
And there are lots of keys for Identification online.  If you google benthic macroinvertebrates or benthic macroinvertebrate key  you could spend a long time checking them all out and find your own favorites.
As a follow-up thought to our last class, you may be interested in getting a little more information about the taxonomy  of the various macroinvertebrates that you will see in the stream.
Here’s a link to a taxonomic chart that shows the various invertebrates that we specifically count during a monitoring session:
In the Virginia SOS protocol, there are several macros which you are not required to identify beyond the Class level. And in no case does the protocol require identification past the Order level, though there is a fascinating diversity of Mayflies, Stoneflies and Caddisflies which are the three most sensitive macros you will find.
There’s a short slide show at this link which describes benthic macroinvertebrates and the “jobs” that they have in a stream.
I look forward to seeing you on March 9th!
Gem Bingol
Loudoun & Clarke Field Officer
Piedmont Environmental Council
703-431-6941 (cell)

Spout Run volunteer session set

The Winchester Star
(February 9, 2013)

BOYCE — The C Spout Run organization is looking for volunteers to help monitor the health of the Shenandoah River tributary and chart the progress of restoration efforts.

The classroom portion of a certification program will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Boyce Fire Hall. A one-day stream-side training class will take place in March.

Spout Run and its tributaries Roseville Run and Page Brook have been declared “impaired” waterways by Virginia’s Depart- ment of Environmental Quality because of bacterial pollution and excessive sedimentation.

Various local groups have banded together to clean up the streams.

Sampling bottom-dwelling creatures is one way to measure stream health. Volunteers are needed to get their feet wet, learn a new skill and help the watershed.

Gem Bingol of the Piedmont Environmental Council will lead a free cer tification course in benthic macroinvertebrate testing, one way to monitor the health of streams by checking the types of aquatic species that live in them.

Certified volunteers can help to gauge the ef fectiveness of the efforts to bring back the watershed by sampling the animal life at various points several times a year.

Become a stream monitor

SRJ Monitoring Class Promo

(First training class February 12, 7:00 p.m., at the Boyce Firehall. Second Session: Saturday March 9th at 1 p.m. Location: Powhatan School, streamside at Page Brook Run, by the bridge to the ball fields. Park in the back parking lot. Bring: boots and notes from past classes if you have them.)

C Spout Run is looking for volunteers to help monitor the health of our stream and the progress of restoration efforts. Sampling bottom-dwelling (benthic) critters is one of the best (and most fun) ways to measure stream health. This is your chance to get your feet wet, learn a fascinating new skill, and help our watershed.

Gem Bingol of the Piedmont Environmental Council will be leading a free certification course in benthic macroinvertebrate testing.

Please come to the Boyce Firehall on February 12 at 7:00 p.m. for more information and take the classroom portion of your certification. A one-day streamside training class will take place in March (when it’s a little warmer).

Watch The Spout Run Journal: An Invitation to Stream Monitoring

Stream Monitoring May Be for You

Exploring Stream Monitoring: An Introduction

Location: Boyce Fire Hall
Wed., Jan. 16, 2013, 7 pm (Snow date: Jan. 22, 7 pm)

Download Flier

 A fun, new volunteer opportunity in Clarke:
This introductory session kicks off a new program to collect information about the benthic macroinvertebrates (small creatures that live on streambeds) in Clarke County streams. It will add to the valuable chemical data that the Friends of the Shenandoah River volunteers have been collecting for a long time.

Explore biological stream monitoring and learn what volunteering involves.

For a couple of hours at a time, 3 or 4 times a year, here’s some of what you’ll dis- cover as a monitor:

  • The variety of stream-dwellers that live where you monitor
  • Information about the health of the stream and surrounding lands
  • Stream habitats and survival strategies
  • Pollution-sensitivity
  • For an online introduction:

Landowners’ Guide to Spout Run

Spout Run is a truly local stream. Most residents know that Spout Run, including Page Brook and Roseville Run quite literally flow out of the ground in several clean and cold springs: Saratoga, Prospect Hill, Page Brook and Carter Hall to name a few of the larger ones. Prospect Spring is the source of all public water for Boyce and Millwood, meaning that we literally have spring water coming out of our taps! And because the watershed is so small most landowners live within a stones throw of Spout Run or one of it’s major feeder streams….

Read more – download the Landowners’ Guide to Spout Run

Water Quality Improvement Plan

The public comment period for the Implementation Plan will begin the day after the public meeting (December 6, 2012) and end on January 4, 2013.  Written comments should include the name, address, and telephone number of the person submitting the comments and should be sent to Nesha McRae, Department of Conservation and Recreation, PO Box 1, Verona, VA, 24482, telephone (540) 332-9238, fax (540) 248-3069, or e-mail

Download the Full Report

(Report will download to browser and you can save PDF to your Desktop)