friends@therouge.org 313.792.9900 | Fax: 313.593.0231

Friends of the Rouge

More about the watershed
Bug Hunt

Bug Hunts

(Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring)

What is a Bug Hunt?

Do you ever wonder about what lives in the river besides fish and turtles? Come to one of our Rouge River Bug Hunts and see for yourself the amazing variety of aquatic insects, crayfish, snails and clams (technically known as benthic macroinvertebrates: animals without a backbone that live in the streambed) that make up the bottom of the river food chain.

benthic macroinvertebrate photoVolunteers visit sites throughout the headwaters of the watershed and search for mayflies, stoneflies and other aquatic invertebrates. The presence or absence of these streambed creatures reflects the quality of the water and habitat.

How do I volunteer?

Bug Hunts are held in April and October. No prior experience is necessary but you do need to pre-register to be assigned to a team. Children five and older are welcome when accompanied by a participating adult. Groups of six or less can sign up together.

Once you have attended one event, you might consider increasing your level of involvement by attending training and learn to assist a team at future events.

What is a Stonefly Search?

In the winter we hold a Stonefly Search that is similar to the Bug Hunts except we only look for one type of bug. Stoneflies are very sensitive aquatic insects that hatch from streams in winter.

This program is certified by the Michigan Clean Water Corps with an approved Quality Assurance Project Plan.

Reports Downloads

Data-Tally Worksheet || 

Register for Bug Events & Training

Friends of the Rouge volunteers have been collecting data on benthic macroinvertebrates (“bugs”) since 1998. We use protocols and forms developed by the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) for Stream Monitoring. MiCorps is the organization that oversees volunteer monitoring for the state of Michigan.

We have 143 sites (view a map of sites). Most sites are sampled every season for three years and then sampled on a rotating basis every few years.  Wayne County Department of Public Works Water Quality Management Division samples additional sites and provides the data to FOTR. Schoolcraft College also monitoring a site on their campus.

Data is compared by season (Fall, Spring, Stonefly).

Check out our map of sites.

Report on Each Event

Bug Hunt

Bug Hunts

(Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring) What is a Bug Hunt? Do you ever wonder about what lives in the river besides fish...
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Benthic Macroinvertebrate

Fall Benthic Macroinvertebrate Data

SQI refers to Stream Quality Index, a score that takes into account the abundance of sensitive organisms found at a...
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Bug

Bug Hunt Finding Maps

Winter Stoneflies Press on a snowflake for sites where stoneflies have been found; red balloons where they have not been...
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macromia taeniolata

Spring Benthic Macroinvertebrate Data

SQI refers to Stream Quality Index, a score that takes into account the abundance of sensitive organisms found at a...
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A stonefly

Stoneflies

Five types of stoneflies have been found in the Rouge River Stoneflies are a primitive group of insects named for...
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Volunteers recording data during a Stonefly search

Stonefly Search Results

Stonefly Search Results.xlsx Download spreadsheet HERE.
Volunteers watching a demonstration in the river

Volunteer Monitors

Feedback Form
Bug Hunt Trainings - volunteers in the waterway

Bug Hunt Events and Trainings

Bug Hunts We invite you to come along and hunt bugs with us! No prior experience is necessary. We need...
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