Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Storms put a damper on the Water Sample Collection

Storms rolled in quickly yesterday afternoon while we were collecting the water sample at Berry’sFerry (Rt. 50 bridge) public boat landing in Clarke County, VA. We called it a day. We went back to the FOSR’s water quality testing lab to set up the water samples that we did collect for E. coli enumeration. This morning we headed back out to collect the water samples at the sites that we weren’t able to hit yesterday.  I also revisited a few of the sites that I collected samples from yesterday to compare the effect of the storms had on the E. coli levels.




FOSR’s Summer E. coli Test Results for Tuesday, June 14, 2022

E. coli Results for 6.09.2022 are all over the Place

While it did rain on Wednesday, June 8, and possibly into the early morning hours of Thursday, June 9, the rain had stopped by the time I headed out to collect the water samples around 7 AM. From my observations at the sites that I collected the water samples at on the North Fork, South Fork, and Main-stem of the Shenandoah River it appeared that it had at least rained some at all of the sites.  At about half of the sites there were standing pools of water in the parking areas, at others it appeared that there was just enough rain to make the area wet.  The water levels, however, in all three River stretches did not rise as much as it had last week when I collected the water samples.  Interesting though, is that the E. coli concentrations measured at all of the sites were higher this week, at some sites greatly so.


FOSR’s 2022 Summer E. coli Results through 06.01.2022

Remember to check in weekly for FOSR’s Summer E. coli Testing Program Results for sites located at public access and recreational use areas on the Main-stem, North Fork, and South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

FOSR 2022 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 06.01.2022

Join Us at Sage Bird Ciderworks on June 17, 4 – 11 PM

Join us at Sage Bird Ciderworks in Harrisonburg, VA on Friday, June 17th from 4-11 pm! We will provide FOSR-sponsored activities for families from 4-7 pm. There will also be a fundraiser and FOSR giveaways, with a portion of sales donated to the FOSR. The event is celebrating the launch of the “Butts Up!” cider by @sagebirdciderworks, which is named after a call of friendship on the river.



Confluence Conundrum

This image depicts what can occur when a tributary carrying elevated E. coli levels flows into a larger body of water.  In this example on May 25, 2022, the E. coli level measured in Manassas Run was 1553.1.  Downstream of the confluence with the Shenandoah River, the E. coli levels remained elevated, 648.8, along the bank.  During the same sample collection visit the E. coli levels measured in the middle of the River was 23.1.

(E. coli results reported as MPN colony forming units per 100mL of water samples)

FOSR is Again Providing You with Current E. coli Data

It is summer again and the Friends of the Shenandoah River is here to provide you with E. coli data courtesy of our VA DEQ Level III water quality testing laboratory.  These data can help you to make an informed decision about potential health risk exposure to pathogens associated with the presence of E. coli in the water when recreating in the River at the specified sites.


This is the link to find the first set of E. coli data for Summer 2022.

FOSR 2022 Summer Quantitative E. coli Concentration Results through 05.25.2022


FOSR’s 2021 Summer E. coli Results through 08.25.2021

These are the E. coli results for the water samples that were collected yesterday, Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

FOSR 2021 Summer Quantitative E. coli concentration Results through 08.25.2021

Of the 12 times that FOSR has tested Manassas Run this summer, the E. coli levels exceeded the previous Virginia water-quality standard threshold of 235 E. coli colony forming units per 100 mL of water sample for primary recreational use 10 times (83% of the times tested).

The algal blooms continue in the North Fork of the Shenandoah River at Strasburg Park.  While at the site yesterday the foul odor released by the algae was intense.  Sections of the streambed were 75-80% covered with algae making it look like a carpet of green.   Also, lots of clumps of algae that have broken loose were floating downstream.

The low water levels at several of the sites continue to be a serious concern.


Shenandoah National Park Temporarily Suspends Fishing

News Release Date: August 20, 2021                                                                                            Contact: Claire Comer, (540) 999-3500 x3183

Low water levels at Jewell Hollow, August 20, 2021Luray, Virginia: Effective immediately, Shenandoah National Park’s streams and rivers are closed to fishing due to low stream flows and high water temperatures. Despite the recent rainfall, streams and groundwater conditions have not recovered sufficiently.

Dry conditions have led to extremely low stream flows throughout the Park, including some river sections that are completely dry. Under low-flow conditions, high water temperatures occur with hot weather.

Low flows and high temperatures create extremely stressful conditions for fish, and dissolved oxygen can decline to fatal conditions. Some mortalities have been documented this month. The additional stress of angling during these conditions could harm the native brook trout populations. This closure is for all streams to including both open-to-harvest and catch-and-release waters.  While it is rare, the Park has occasionally closed fishing in the past in response to similar conditions.

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