Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day on the River

The blog has discussed Gahagan's involvement in monitoring the water quality of the upper AuSable River watershed. The project started four years ago and we are in our third year of sampling. Volunteers spent yesterday afternoon at six points in the watershed collecting macro-invertebrates (bugs) in the river and its branches. The species and quantity can tell us how clean our waters are. Tomorrow at 5PM in the Kirtland Community College biology lab, we will start looking under the microscopes at the samples, identify them and analyze the results. You can join us there.

The photos show the scene at the East Branch sample site at the south end of Hartwick Pines State Park. The collection is done primarily by net or by picking up logs or rocks and picking off the invertebrates. In the top photo, collectors Karen Demers and Jeff Millgren are in the stream while in the background Millie Millgren and Tracy Bosworth are on the river bank sorting collected bugs. The second photo shows collectors pulling insects off a log and into the sample tub. Back at the bank, insects are sorted and placed in alcohol filled jars ready to go to the lab for final identification.

For more information on the project, the cooperating organizations and to view past data results go to, then click the AuSable Monitoring link to go to the project's website.

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