This week we conducted the annual stream water quality and animal survey in Waikolu valley (the intro scene to Jurassic Park III was filmed here). Scientists from the NPS Inventory and Monitoring from Big Island (David Raikow, Anne Farahi and Barbara Luehrs) and NPS Dive Intern Julia Mason joined us for this endeavor.
We carried out multiple survey sites along the stream, quantifying the populations of the endemic Hīhīwai (freshwater snails), O'opu (freshwater gobies), and Opae (freshwater shrimp), and also analyzing a suite of water quality parameters such as pH, turbidity, conductivity, nitrates and phosphates.
The NPS and Inventory and Monitoring program's goal is to monitor long term trends to achieve a 'big picture' of the health of this stream/ watershed ecosystem.
Waikolu is quite remote, and therefore quite a pristine site. However, in the past years there has been an increase in the invasive Tahitian prawn populations, which preys upon the native opae.