If you’ve been following our stream saga, you know that I went through the training to be a stream monitor, we were assigned a local stream to monitor, and we checked the stream in the summer and fall of 2012. It turned out that our assigned stream wasn’t as healthy as we might hope. In order to make this both a volunteer activity that benefits our local environment AND an educational activity that benefits our kids, our local coordinator assigned us a new stream. It’s a section of Difficult Run in northern Virginia that sits behind a long-established neighborhood and the W&OD bike trail.
Since the weather forecasters were calling for a relatively warm weekend, we figured it was the perfect time to put on our boots and wade into the water of our new stream. Standing in the cold water and doing the “invertebrate shuffle” we conducted three 1-minute samples of stream invertebrates. The results – drumroll please – were mixed. On the downside, we did not catch the number of invertebrates we needed in order to log the stream’s data in the county database. On the upside, while we saw the common, tolerant invertebrates such as flies and worms, we also saw some invertebrates that are a little more sensitive, like caddisflies. Perhaps our low numbers were simply due to the cold weather and water, and we just needed to get a little deeper in the mud. Only time will tell! Our next survey will be in the spring – we’ll keep you posted!
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