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Categorized | Outdoors

What insects are telling us

Come rain or come shine, our volunteers will help sample insects in our local streams. This was demonstrated during Trout Unlimited’s Fall Stream Insect Monitoring event on October 13, when 12 dedicated volunteers sampled insects at stream sites in the pouring rain. This event was part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project, a multi-year watershed-based restoration project funded through the Wege, Frey, and Wolverine Worldwide foundations, the local Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited, and Robert DeVilbiss.

The information that these volunteers have collected helps Trout Unlimited determine how our local streams are doing. Stream insects are a good measure of water quality. Unlike fish, stream insects cannot move around much so they are less able to escape the effects of sediment and other pollutants that diminish water quality.

Data on stream insects in the Rogue River Watershed have been collected twice a year since October 2010. Our sampling locations include five sites in the watershed—one each on Cedar, Rum, and Stegman Creeks and two on the Rogue River.

Based on stream insect samples from 2010-2012, our local streams seem to be in good health. From 2010-2012, 91 percent of our sites had a Stream Quality Score of Excellent-Good, while 9 percent had a score of Fair.

In order to continue these sampling efforts, we need more dedicated volunteers for these events. We will be holding another event in the spring of 2013. If you would like to be involved in this event or any other Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative programs please contact Nichol De Mol at 231-557-6362 or email her at ndemol@tu.org.

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