Set up a Sampling Site

The Fitzroy Waterwatch portal already lists a number of sites across the Fitzroy Basin which are used by Citizen Scientists. If you are looking for an accessible sampling site near you check out the portal map to see if any of the sites suit you.

On the other hand, if you have a waterway in mind, but you’re not sure of the best access point, spend some time on Google maps (using the satellite layer) to scout some potential access points. It’s a good idea to find more than one potential access point to allow for actual site conditions. Always bear in mind:

  • you cannot sample on private property without permission
  • be aware of traffic safety off major roads
  • Be Crocwise – much of the Fitzroy Basin is crocodile habitat
  • a lot of the Fitzroy Basin is ephemeral, which means some waterways may be dry for much of the year
  • you will have to carry the water sampling kit with you to your chosen site
  • never sample alone – always take someone with you or let them know where you are
  • practice bush safety – SunSafe, snake safe, always carry water and wear appropriate clothing
  • you choose to sample at your own risk – if in doubt, don’t sample!

Then head out to your scouted access points. Actual conditions are often different to Google’s satellite imagery, vegetation may be overgrown, waterway flow may be too low, road access may have changed. Always ensure access is safe before sampling.

Once you have selected a site, you’ve looked up where it is on Google maps and you’ve checked it is safe and accessible on the ground, it’s time to add it to the portal. You can do this on your device when you’re out sampling.

  1. Click Create a new site
  2. Name the site according to the naming convention: Waterway name – Access point name see a few examples below:
    1. Fitzroy River – North Rockhampton Boat Ramp
    2. Moore’s Creek – Leamington St
    3. Water Park Creek Tributary – Five Rocks Rd, Byfield (this site is an unnamed tributary of Water Park Creek, so include the connected waterway and ‘tributary’ in the name)
  1. Now move the red marker on the map to the location of your site
    1. If you have looked up the site in advance you may have the coordinates, you can type these in instead of using the map
  2. Double check your site is not already in the database using the suggestions
  3. Click Continue
    1. Continue filling in the portal data form

Get in contact with Fitzroy Partnership for River Health to guide you through the process of finding a site and conducting your first waterway sampling.