The Virginia Trout Stream Sensitivity Study (VTSSS) is designed to track the effects of acidic deposition and other factors that determine water quality and related ecological conditions in Virginia’s native trout streams.
The VTSSS 2021 survey will be the fourth regional survey conducted with the assistance of Trout Unlimited and other volunteer organizations. About 450 stream sites will be sampled in 34 counties, representing most of the mountain headwater streams in Virginia that support reproducing brook trout. Previous surveys were conducted in 1987, 2000, and 2010. Following the first survey, a geographically distributed subset of streams was selected for long-term monitoring. This component of VTSSS now includes 72 streams that have been sampled on a seasonal (quarterly) basis for 33 years. Stream water samples collected through the VTSSS program are analyzed for pH, acid neutralizing capacity, acid anions (sulfate, nitrate, and chloride) and base cations (calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium).
Over the years since program inception, VTSSS data and findings have proven important to both local resource management and to the development, evaluation, and implementation of national air pollution control policies.
The 2021 survey will be conducted during the last seven days of April 2021. We now have all sites assigned, thank you for volunteering to be a sample collector!
Additional links provide instructions for sample collectors, county maps showing the distribution of sampling sites, an example of detailed site location information and project contacts.
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
A more detailed summary of the program is provided as a one-page document.
Additional information on the VTSSS program and the associated Shenandoah Watershed Study (SWAS) can be found at the SWAS-VTSSS website.
Check our facebook page for periodic project updates!