Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

USGS EcoDrought Stream Discharge, Gage Height, and Water Temperature Data in Massachusetts

May 4, 2022

The USGS Water Mission Area (WMA) - Ecosystems Mission Area (EMA) EcoDrought project is comprised of interdisciplinary teams in five pilot regions across the country. The over-arching project goal is to measure streamflow in headwater streams and to relate flow variation to stream fish population dynamics. In the northeast, the New England Water Science Center (NewEngWSC) partnered with the fish ecology group at the S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Lab (Conte), a part of the EMA's Eastern Ecological Science Center. The Conte fish ecology team has been collecting ecological and stream water temperature data in the West Brook watershed located in Whately, Massachusetts, since 1997, where they developed novel methods to track individual fish and populations. The Conte team has leveraged these data to understand growth, survival, habitat use, genetic structure, population abundance and movement of Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout and Brown Trout as well as stream temperature impacts on Brook Trout in the West Brook. However, they have not historically had the expertise or equipment to accurately measure discharge in these headwater streams, which hindered their ability to examine the role of streamflow in fish ecology. Starting in August of 2019 the NewEngWSC trained a team from Conte to install and maintain in-stream pressure gaging sites including surveying to monitor and account for any movement of the pressure sensor, performing streamflow measurements, developing rating curves to relate gage height and discharge, and carrying out routine and emergency maintenance. This data set is comprised of the continuous gage height, discharge, water temperature, air temperature, and air pressure data, as well as discrete discharge measurements and site information for ten headwater stream gaging stations located in the West Brook watershed in Whately, Massachusetts. The date range for this data set is 2019-04-01 through 2021-09-30. Once collected, the continuous gage height data were reviewed, and offsets were applied to correct for instrument movement and instrument drift under the guidance of NewEngWSC Hydrologic Monitoring Program staff. Continuous gage height is converted to a continuous discharge record by relating discrete gage height and discharge measurements with a rating model developed in accordance with USGS WMA standards.