Annual Macroinvertebrate Survey

Since 2006, PRWC has conducted annual Macroinvertebrate Surveys following a protocol established by Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for Stream Riffle  Bioassessment by Volunteers (RBV).  RBV is a ‘treasure hunt’ during the fall (September through November) for Connecticut’s healthiest streams!  RBV volunteers monitor streams specifically for pollution sensitive Macroinvertebrates – small organisms that spend a large part of their life cycle clinging to the undersides of rocks in river riffles.  If volunteers are able to find four or more of these ‘Most Wanted’ macroinvertebrate types at an RBV location, it can provide DEEP with evidence to document the stream as having excellent water quality - making it one of Connecticut’s healthiest streams! 

 

The RBV program provides volunteers with a standardized methodology for using aquatic macroinvertebrates to assess the relative water quality of wadeable streams (those that you can walk across).  Aquatic macroinvertebrates are excellent indicators of stream quality not only because they are relatively easy to collect and identify, but because certain species are very sensitive to changes in water quality. The most sensitive species can tolerate only very small amounts pollution and will therefore only be present in Connecticut’s healthiest streams.   

Map of PRWC's survey sites coming soon! Findings are included in the Integrated Water Quality Report to Congress.

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Survey at Bullet Hill Brook
Survey at Bullet Hill Brook

A volunteer kicks at the substrate to dislodge and capture macroinvertebrates in the sample net.

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Sample Jar of Macroinvertebrates
Sample Jar of Macroinvertebrates

Sample jars are sent to DEEP to confirm field identifications.

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Volunteer Samplers
Volunteer Samplers

Volunteer samplers pose at Eight Mile Brook after finishing this locations sample round.

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Survey at Bullet Hill Brook
Survey at Bullet Hill Brook

A volunteer kicks at the substrate to dislodge and capture macroinvertebrates in the sample net.

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