Lacamas Creek’s turning red again.
If you live along the Lacamas Creek watershed, don’t be alarmed if you see currents of fluorescent red plumes flowing through the creek tomorrow evening. For the second time this summer, researchers are using the dye to see where the water travels, and how long it lingers in direct sunlight.
Don’t worry, the dye is harmless to humans, pets and wildlife and normally dissipates within a mile of its starting point. Releases are generally done in the evening when fewer people are using the trail systems located around Lacamas Creek and its tributaries.
Researchers use a fluorometer to measure the dyes concentration in the water and then feed the data into a computer model. The goal of the project is to learn how to improve Lacamas Creek’s overall water quality which is crucial to the watershed’s fish populations.
Previous dye releases along Lacamas Creek took place at the end of July. Ecology officials say the dye is commonly used in watersheds for this type of research. Water temperature and oxygen levels are both important factors in providing a healthy habitat for fish.
Chances are most of us won’t see much of a change in the water color. But, if you do notice that Lacamas Creek’s turning red again, don’t be alarmed. The Department of Ecology meant to do that.
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