Spring Stream Monitoring Results Are In!

          After several weeks of delays and rescheduling due to the high water levels in May, we have officially wrapped up this spring’s stream monitoring on the Shiawassee. There were collections at nine of our 12 sites, including our first ever collection in Fenton! We are so appreciative of the school groups from Holly, Byron, Owosso, New Lothrop, and Chesaning and several adult volunteer groups who helped with these data collections.

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          Our stream monitoring program trains volunteers and school groups to collect samples of benthic macroinvertebrates (water bugs) while having lots of fun! This collaboration is a great opportunity for the public to get hands-on learning experience with water quality on the beautiful Shiawassee River. After completing our collections, we take a closer look at the macroinvertebrates we’ve collected at our Bug ID night.  We are fortunate to have the help of Aquatic Biologist John Matousek, who works for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), who trains our staff and volunteers to identify the hundreds of bugs collected.

          The different bugs are tallied and categorized as sensitive, somewhat sensitive, or tolerant. Simply put, the higher the number of “sensitive” species found in a particular area, the better the water quality. Below is a list of the Stream Quality Scores at each of the nine collection sites.   

Collection Site:

Score

Stream Quality:

Byron Sesquicentennial Park

45

Good

DeVries Nature Conservancy

41

Good

Downtown Fenton

48

Good

Heritage Park, Corunna

37

Good

Owosso Middle School

45

Good

Shiatown Park, Vernon

41

Good

Showboat Park, Chesaning

40

Good

South State Drain, Owosso

43

Good

Water Park, Holly

50

Excellent

 

Key:

Excellent

>48

Good

34-48

Fair

19-33

Poor

<19

  ** The Stream Quality Score is based off standards set by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Clean Water Corps program (MICorps).

          The data we collect each year builds a long-term record that helps state and local governments, and other organizations, gain a better sense of river health, recognize and address any changes in river quality, and determine the need for watershed-wide action. 

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          Every stream team volunteer started out at some point being interested in, but knowing little about, this collecting process.  If you have an interest to learn more and participate, anytime is the right time to join us.  Please contact Sarah Baker, Friends of the Shiawassee River’s Program Coordinator, at sbaker@shiawasseeriver.org to take the first step!

  • published this page 2017-06-01 11:46:28 -0400

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