Environmental monitoring is a primary reason for collecting sediment data. One emphasis of this monitoring is identification of trends in suspended sediment discharge. A stochastic equation was used to generate time series of annual suspended sediment discharges using statistics from gaging stations with drainage areas between 1606 and 1 805 230 km2. Annual sediment discharge was increased linearly to yield a given increase at the end of a fixed period and trend statistics were computed for each simulation series using Kendal's tau (at 0.05 significance level). A parameter was calculated from two factors that control trend detection time: (a) the magnitude of change in sediment discharge, and (b) the natural variability of sediment discharge. In this analysis the detection of a trend at most stations is well over 100 years for a 20% increase in sediment discharge. Further research is needed to assess the sensitivity of detecting trends at sediment stations.