Save Our Streams…otherwise known in our household as stream monitoring.  The town in which I live studies three watersheds, each of which contribute to the Potomac River.  My home backs onto a tributary of Watts Branch, so I am involved in monitoring that stream.  It is a beautiful day.  Am I ready?You bet!  This is what it looks like along the way to the monitoring site.

We have had so much rain…over 16 inches combined for August and September, at least double the average, so it is not surprising how muddy it was.  There has been incredible stream erosion.  Check out this post to see what I mean about flooding! 

You can see the debris line here at the base of the post, marking how how the flood waters went, and see how far it was from the stream.

In the spring I worked on looking for invasive species and looking at the riparian zone.  This time I wanted to muck about in the stream collecting samples.  This is how you collect the samples.

The nets have a screen on the inside so that the water flows through but it collects the mud and critters.  We then use stream water to wash the screen material into a tub.

Now comes the fun part!  We sort though the bin and take out the macro-invertebrates that we find.  Here are some of the lovely critters!  Hope that I got the labels correct…Dragonflies

Damselflies…lots of these

And what I loved finding…a teeny, tiny crayfish!

All in all we did not find as many specimens as last spring, but what we did find was noted on this sheet.

Over time the data will be looked at for changes.  In the meantime…a good day outside with other volunteers that care about the environment.  Woo Hoo!


1 Comment

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One response to “S.O.S.

  1. Barbara

    Wow! Yet another job well done by a multi-talented person! I hope this is what you are showing to the kids; it would be neat for them to be involved.

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