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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friends of the Rouge - Stonefly Hunt -

No they weren't ice fishing.
Earlier today volunteers from around the Detroit area faired the cold and icy Rouge river to be involved in the Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sampling Program.  This program is designed to gather data about the overall quality of the ecosystem in the Rouge.  Today they acquired this data by counting the amount of Stoneflies living underneath the frozen layer of ice that makes the river's surface this time of year.

Stoneflies are an important indicator of the quality of the water in the river as well as the overall health of the surrouding ecosystem.  Since Stoneflies are a favorite food of trout, a healthy population of Stoneflies means that the trout will have plenty to eat.  If the trout are fat and happy, the ecosystem can sustain larger animals.

Stoneflies live in leaf litter, or dead organic matter, that falls into the river from the surrounding trees.  To find them, the team of biology research volunteers, broke through the ice using hatchets.  By extracting and examining the leaf litter for Stoneflies, the group hopes to extract some telling conclusions about the condition of the Rouge.

Stoneflies hatch in the winter and get their name because you will often find them walking on stones.  They grow up to be a half inch to an inch and a half long. 

Find more info at

Thanks to amandasehmer for taking such beautiful pictures.

1 comment:

  1. ... if the trouts are fat and happy, they are very tasty !! ;-))