Characterization of Springtime Coliform Populations at the End Creek Wetland Restoration (Union Co., Oregon, USA): A Three-Year Study


In 2005, a 550-acre tract of agricultural land containing two small streams near La Grande, Oregon was registered in the U.S. Federal Wetlands Reserve Program. This designation was part of a plan to reclaim and restore the wetland to its natural state. Initial efforts at the End Creek Restoration Project restored both End Creek and South Fork Willow Creek to a natural course through rechanneling, and several plantings had restored some of the native flora. Since its establishment, the End Creek streams and floodplain have become a reserve for summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), a threatened anadromous salmonid, and many migratory birds. The threatened Columbia Spotted Frog has also established itself in some of the ponds. As part of an effort to establish a baseline for water quality, we monitored total springtime coliform and fecal coliform bacteria in three of the End Creek ponds for three years. The results of this study indicate that, throughout any given spring, the numbers of both coliform and fecal coliform bacteria can fluctuate markedly among ponds on any given day, and that in any particular pond the numbers fluctuate from week to week. In addition, our analysis suggests that in early spring, the numbers of these organisms also fluctuate from year to year. The causes of these fluctuations are not well understood, but are expected to reflect both springtime flooding and the migrations of source animals such as waterfowl and cervids. Information gathered from this study will help inform future management activities on the wetland.

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Corsini, J. , Peters, L. , Tarpy, B. , Pak, C. and Antell, K. (2015) Characterization of Springtime Coliform Populations at the End Creek Wetland Restoration (Union Co., Oregon, USA): A Three-Year Study. Natural Resources, 6, 482-490. doi: 10.4236/nr.2015.68046.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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