Stream Temperature Data Collection Standards and Protocol for Alaska

These standards help generate useful data for regional-scale analyses of aquatic systems and fisheries resources.

As Alaskans continue to feel the impacts of a changing climate, the need grows for resource managers to better understand how these changes will alter aquatic systems and fisheries resources. Water temperature data collection has increased in recent years, which begins to fill knowledge gaps about current thermal profiles. However, given Alaska’s vast landscapes and ubiquitous freshwater habitats, the need for water temperature data is ongoing. Many entities collect temperature data for a variety of purposes to meet project or agency-specific goals. Statewide interest in thermal patterns and increasing data collection efforts provides Alaska’s scientific and resource managing community an opportunity to meet broader regional-scale data needs; adopting minimum standards for data collection will ensure comparability of generated data.

These minimum standards for stream temperature data collection will help generate data that is useful for regional-scale analyses. Identifying minimum data standards encourages rapid, yet structured, growth in comparable stream temperature monitoring efforts in Alaska that can be used to understand current and future trends in thermal regimes. The document explains the selection of—and motivation for establishing—minimum standards for stream temperature data collection, and the protocol provides detailed instructions on implementing the minimum standards.

Last modified
10 May 2024 - 12:16pm