Sedimentation alters aquatic habitats and negatively affects fish and invertebrate communities but is difficult to quantify. To monitor bed load sedimentation, we designed a sampler with a 10.16-cm polyvinyl chloride coupling and removable sediment trap. We conducted a trial study of our samplers in riffle and pool habitats upstream and downstream of highway construction on a first-order Appalachian stream. Sediment samples were collected over three 6-week intervals, dried, and separated into five size-classes by means of nested sieves (U.S. standard sieve numbers 4, 8, 14, and 20). Downstream sediment accumulated in size-classes 1 and 2, and the total amount accumulated was significantly greater during all three sampling periods. Size-classes 3 and 4 had significantly greater amounts of sediment for the first two sampling periods at the downstream site. Differences between upstream and downstream sites narrowed during the 5-month sampling period. This probably reflects changes in site conditions, including the addition of more effective sediment control measures after the first 6-week period of the study. The sediment sampler design allowed for long-term placement of traps without continual disturbance of the streambed and was successful at providing repeat measures of sediment at paired sites. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.
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A new sampler design for measuring sedimentation in streams