Stream Monitoring


River Watch at Pace's Mill

River Watch at Pace’s Mill

The Haw River Watch Project, sponsored by the Haw River Assembly, gives us a clearer picture of the health of the Haw River by determining the type and location of pollution sources. The heart of this effort are four seasonal “snapshots” performed each year. River Watch volunteers fan out across the tributaries and riverbanks of the Haw to check on the health of the water. Teams are trained and equipped to monitor water quality through aquatic insect counts (and other critters in the water), pH tests, temperature and observations. We use the information to get a picture of the river in each season and to track any changes over time. Volunteers act as guardians of their streams, notifying the proper authorities if pollution is suspected.

Interested in becoming a River Watcher? We will train you or your group.  We ask all River Watchers to join the Haw River Assembly and contribute the cost of their equipment (HRA membership is included in equipment costs).  Our hope is to find new ways to help cover the costs of equipment in the near future for all volunteers.  Until that time, we greatly appreciate your donations and help. For more information contact the project coordinator – Tracy DeVoe at 919 542-5790 or

Haw River Watch Project Monitoring Report

Read the Haw River Watch Report 2014, which provides data that the Haw River Watch Project has collected through December 2014. Thanks to all the River Watchers who have made it possible!

River Watch Resources

These How To Be A River Watcher presentations and tutorials teach you how to monitor your section of river or stream.Tracy River Social


0 – Welcome To River Watch

1 – Overview of Watershed Issues

2 – Introduction to Haw River Watch

3 – Completing River Watch Survey Section A

4 – Collecting Macroinvertebrates

5 – Identifying Macroinvertebrates

6 – Filling Out River Watch Survey Section B



NEW! 2015 River Watch Manual Suspected Pollution Reporting Resources

Haw River Watch Survey Form

Macroinvertebrate Identification Sheet

Macroinvertebrate Identification Tutorial Demo

Documentary on the Haw River Watch project In the spring of 2008, UNC-CH Journalism student Ru Sha put together this three-minute video, shot at our March 29, 2008 Macro-Micro Workshop on the Haw River in Bynum.

N.C. Division of Water Quality home page

U.S. EPA’s pages on Biological Indicators (*follow links for good info, reference sites, pictures)

WWF- Southeastern Rivers Information

River Network/Connecting People, Saving Rivers

WaterKeeper Alliance