Volunteers help with insect monitoring in Michigan

By Jamie Vaughan

Trout Unlimited's Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative in Michigan recently hosted a volunteer insect monitoring day in partnership with the Michigan TU Council and Cannon Township.

More than 80 volunteers, including local residents, school children and TU members, gathered on a beautiful Saturday morning at the pavilion in downtown Rockford to generously donate their time for their community.

Led by expert stream leaders, the volunteers helped sample 10 sites on the Rogue River and Bear Creek. Additional sites that were sampled include Rum, Stegman, and Cedar Creeks – all tributaries of the Rogue River.

Stream insects are a great measure of water quality because they are sensitive to pollution, have limited mobility and are easy to sample. Findings helped determine that the water quality at the tested sites in the Rogue River watershed varied from good to excellent.

The highest score was recorded on the Rogue River at Jericho Avenue.

Trout Unlimited has been sampling the sites since October of 2010. Not only is this volunteer event an excellent way to educate the public on water quality issues, but the data is also critical to the project. Long-term data collection will allow for trends in water quality to be observed over time.

Trout Unlimited is humbled by the amazing turnout from the volunteers and hopes that they walked away with a greater awareness of river ecosystems and the health of their local streams. The next volunteer insect monitoring will be held this fall.

The Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative Project is funded by the Frey Foundation, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Wege Foundation, the Wolverine World Wide Foundation, and the Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited.

Jamie Vaughn is Trout Unlimited's Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative coordinator.


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