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The Value of Visual Assessments

Posted in: Helpful, News- Dec 29, 2012 No Comments

MSTWC has had the pleasure of working with one of our Stream Team associations, Ozark Water Watch, on a visual assessment of Bull Creek and its major tributaries.   Bull Creek is located in Southwest, Mo and is truly one of our state’s gems.  It is used by state agencies as a reference stream and is also designated as an “Outstanding State Resource Water”.

This visual assessment focused on collecting points of interest that were observed while hiking or floating a 23 mile section of this waterway.  This project was a special treat for me to be involved in as it allowed me to be out on one of my favorite waterways, see its challenges and strengths, and truly get to know it better.   Visual assessments are a great way to develop a relationship with your waterway and help you prioritize efforts that will protect and improve its health.

Full Bull Creek Technical Report
View the Google Earth Visual Assessment Map

    Tips for doing a Visual Assessment on your Waterway

  • Determine what sections of your waterway you want to survey and map out access points.
  • Make sure you have landowner permission to access waterway if not using public accesses.
  • Utilize a geo-tagging camera.  Don’t have one, then contact us we have one you can check out!
  • Take good notes. Use data sheets that record information that is important.  For a data sheet example click here.
  • Do something with the data.  Make a Google Earth or Google Map of all the information to communicate what you observed out in the field for future use and as a reference tool.  Google Earth is an easy simple tool that you can add photos and include your field notes into specific locations.   If I can figure it out so can you! And the best part is it is FREE!
  • Have questions, need help, or want more information shoot me an email at

The Bull Creek Visual Assessment was funded by a fish kill grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation.