While facing extremely dry conditions this fall, volunteers were able to get out to survey the macroinvertebrate populations in our small rivers and streams that still had some water. We found that the sites with low flow conditions (versus no flow) were still supporting creatures like mayflies,
stoneflies, crayfish, and aquatic worms. However, these “bugs” were especially tiny this year and we had to dig a little deeper under the rocks in the wettest portion of the channel to find them taking refuge. The types of creatures we found indicated high quality water, essential to supporting aquatic life. Streams surveyed this season were Sprain Brook, East Spring Brook and Weekeepeemee River. At the first two sites (and eight others), we also collected hourly stream temperature data for the entire summer season (June through October). We’ve submitted these data to CT DEEP in support of their statewide monitoring efforts.
Later this winter, PRWC will summarize the data and compare it to data recorded since 2012. Among our goals for these efforts is to establish a baseline of data we can use to begin looking for trends while also trying to identify critical cold water habitat that can support native brook trout. Of the ten sites we currently monitor, one is considered “cold” while the others are “cool” or “transitioning.” To learn more, visit the “Science” section of our website.
Photo caption: Volunteers Tracy Frate and Jonathan Goldberg survey for macroinvertebrates in Sprain Brook off Papermill Road in Woodbury.