Surveying River Bugs

With the help of 10 volunteers, 5 streams were surveyed for macroinvertebrates in September. Following the recent flooding, there was concern that these small, river-dwelling creatures including insect larvae, worms, and crustaceans may have been washed out of their habitats, just as much of the debris and plant life on the stream bottoms had scoured out. This called for meticulous collection methods to ensure the diversity of stream inhabitants was accurately captured.

The surveys were conducted following CT DEEP’s protocols for the Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers (RBV) program. Volunteers used nets to collect a series of kick-samples and macroinvertebrates in the sample are sorted and identified. Voucher samples and completed data sheets will be verified by DEEP and included in their Integrated Water Quality Report (IWQR) to Congress. The recently released 2020 RBV Report, found on our blog, features numerous photos of PRWC in action and applauds the program’s successes in 2020. Most notably, as a result of the volunteer efforts, 4 new waterbodies that were previously unassessed will be proposed for listing in the next IWQR as ‘fully supporting’ aquatic life use. Carmel Hill Brook in Woodbury is one of these 4 waterbodies. In addition, volunteer data will allow DEEP to propose maintaining the ‘fully supporting aquatic life use” listings of segments on 10 waterbodies including 2 in the Pomperaug Watershed. They are East Spring Brook (Bethlehem) and Sprain Brook (Woodbury). We hope to see similar results for the 2021 RBV data.

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