Can you see me

Look closer

I am a dragon fly nymph

Welcome to my world

Throughout this summer we have been sampling small streams in the Taunton River Watershed for Macro Invertebrates (aquatic insects). This effort was made possible through the Taunton River Wild & Scenic Study which is now underway. Fred SaintOurs, an aquatic entomologist affiliated with UMASS Boston has been leading these surveys.

The purpose of these surveys are two fold. First, to document the aquatic fauna in many of our overlooked small streams and spring trickles. Second, to raise public awareness and educate folks about the inner workings of our aquatic ecosystems.

At first glance this may seem an endeavor best left to scientists armed with books full of Latin names and microscopes. It isn't. While knowing the Latin names and being able to identify a thousand different species is beyond me and most other casual advocates of our watery places, it is important that we have a familiarity with these species and their role in the aquatic ecosystem.

I could go blabbering on endlessly about the importance of this subject and probably will at some point. For the time being its enough to say, if you are involved in river advocacy think about this stuff, better yet get involved with it.

Beneath the surface of our watery places lies an amazing seldom seen miniature universe. This miniature universe is the foundation that all larger ones are built on. Many of the habitats that support these miniature universes are extremely vulnerable. A poorly placed culvert or street drain, changes in water chemistry from the outfall pipe of a treatment plant or fertilizer runoff from a housing development, excessive water withdrawals, any one of these could snuff out the life of these miniature universes. Their best defense is us, an informed militia, armed with knowledge and documentation of these habitats and the life which they alone can support.

Anyhow, I have to stop myself before I get to preachy. Follow the links below for photo's of our endeavors and links to some other sites with additional info. 

Oh, one other thing, kids love this stuff. Bring them to the streams, turn over stones in a riffle. Better yet get a small square aquarium net, a shallow tray and a cheap magnifying glass. Put some water in the tray. Place the net on the stream bottom and stir up the stream bed in front of the net with your hand. Wait a moment for the current to filter the stirred up sediment through the net. Remove the net from the water and empty it into the tray. Then sit back while the bugs baby sit the kids.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to join a survey.

 

Bridgewater no name stream survey HERE

Salisbury & Trout Brook Survey HERE

Small Stream Threats HERE

About Aquatic Fish Food (Insects and other aquatic creatures)

Electronic Field Guide to Macro Invertebrates of Small Streams in Eastern Massachusetts

Taunton River Wild and Scenic River Study

North American Benthological Society

EPA website, good stuff