DRIFTLESS - National Trout Unlimited is placing a high priority on community science and the benefits it provides for angler education and coldwater resource management. TU’s national science team partnered with MobileH2O, LLC to develop a customized mobile application called WiseH2O App, which anglers can use to monitor water quality and habitat conditions in Driftless Area trout streams.
In 2019, anglers from the Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter of TU participated in a successful WiseH2O App pilot project, testing the app on 10 local streams and rivers, making 83 observations and providing feedback to the developers on app improvements. The Kiap-TU-Wish monitoring plan, the 2019 pilot project report and an interactive map that enables viewing of all 2019 Kiap- TU-Wish WiseH2O App observations can be found on the MobileH2O web- site at https://www.mobileh2o.com/anglerscience.
Given the success of the 2019 Kiap-TU-Wish pilot project, and with further app improvements in 2020, WiseH2O App monitoring expanded to the entire four-state Driftless Area in August 2020. Besides Kiap-TU-Wish, 14 additional chapters now have an opportunity to monitor our regional cold- water resources. Although COVID-19 and development of the iPhone version of the WiseH2O App have delayed the Driftless Area rollout, we are pleased to report that the iPhone version of the App is available, and the 2- in-1 test strips can be used to measure nitrite/nitrate concentrations. The App also has an updated look and educational messaging that is more user- friendly.
A Get Started Guide for prospective WiseH2O App monitoring participants is available on the MobileH2O website at https://www.mobileh2o.com/ driftlessprogram.
Those who are interested in Driftless Area monitoring in 2021 can take the following steps:
• Download the WiseH2O App: Android and iPhone versions of the
WiseH2O App are available for free download at the Google Play Store and Apple Store (search WiseH2O). Instructions for downloading the WiseH2O App can be found in the WiseH20 App User Guide, located on the MobileH2O website at https://www.mobileh2o.
• Complete on-line training: Detailed on-line instructions for use of the
WiseH2O App can be found in the WiseH20 App User Guide and the Video Tutorial for Using the WiseH2O App, both located on the MobileH2O website at https://www.mobileh2o.com/mh2oapp.
• Obtain water chemistry test kits: Depending on each participant’s level of interest and desired extent of involvement with water chemistry monitoring, three types of test kits are available. These three test kits can be ordered directly from MobileH2O at https://www.mobileh2o.com/shop. To help offset the start-up cost of test kits for Driftless Area TU chapters and their participants in 2021, Trout Unlimited has been offering a limited number of free starter kits (up to five basic kits and three premium kits) for each TU chapter, with funding provided by TU’s Coldwater Conservation Fund. If your chapter is interested in these free kits but has not yet received them, Kent Johnson can work with you to provide them. A reliable thermometer for WiseH2O App temperature measurements can also be purchased at https://www.mobileh2o.com/shop.
• Consider a monitoring plan: If your group is interested in monitoring particular streams and their water quality and/or habitat conditions in your area, you may want to prepare a short monitoring plan to guide participants to these special locations. For the 2019 WiseH2O App pilot project, the Kiap-TU -Wish Chapter of TU prepared a monitoring plan that can be used as a reference and/or customized to serve your group’s needs. This plan, prepared by Kent Johnson, can be found on the MobileH2O website at https://www.mobileh2o.com/anglerscience. Kent is also avail- able to provide support for monitoring plan preparation.
We are excited about this opportunity to “Go Driftless” with WiseH2O App monitoring, and we look forward to your participation in 2021. Kent Johnson will be serving as the Driftless Area (TUDARE) coordinator for this project, so feel free to contact him with any questions, thoughts or needs for follow-up information. Our Project Team includes Dan Dauwalter of Trout Unlimited and Carter and Sarah Borden of MobileH2O, LLC. Their roles are critical as we advance this project, and they are also available for support.For more information on the Driftless Area WiseH2O App project, please contact Kent Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.