Monday, May 9, 2011

Testing the Water

Stream Ecology Field Trip
Virginia Master Naturalists In-Training for the BRFAL Chapter met at Waid Park in Franklin County to test the water.  We discovered a few things as we dipped our nets in the Pigg River.  

We were told by our trip leader and chapter member Victoria Keenum to look for the "sensitive" bugs. Sensitive? Does this mean if we turn over their rock we might hurt their feelings?  Apparently not. Victoria showed us a field guide with the "bugs" we would be looking for an identifying in this waterway, The Pigg River. Being Sensitive simply meant that these organisms will not be found in abundance where water quality is degraded. Their dominance generally signifies good water quality. The second group was "Less Sensitive," and third group to ID was the "Tolerant." Tolerant means these organisms can be found where water quality is degraded. Their dominance usually signifies poor water quality.

The weather was grand, the park was a hustle and bustle of soccer games and families out to enjoy the day. We had children from young to old stop by to see what we were doing with our microscope, nets and tweezers!
Collecting Bugs in The Pigg River
Locating the bugs for identification
Smaller bugs required a closer look
Mayflies are some of the "sensitive" ones
Thank you to all the BRFAL Chapter Members and S.O.S for helping us, once again, to learn hands on! 

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