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Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sampling

Fall Bug Hunt team sampling the Walled Lake Drainage.

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 that make up the bottom of the river food chain. Twice a year, teams of volunteers 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. We are using them to track changes in the river quality over time.

Bug Hunts are held on a Saturday in the fall and in the spring. No prior experience is necessary but you do need to pre-register to be assigned to a team.  Once you have attended one sampling day, you might consider increasing your level of involvement by attending training to become a team leader.  We also do a Winter Stonefly Search in January. This is similar to a Bug Hunt but except we only look for one type of organism - a type of insect that hatches from streams in the winter and is very sensitive to pollution.

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

Team Leader Training

Trainee Andrea Lozon learns the riffle dance.

If you have attended one of our events and want to learn more about sampling and identification and are willing to help lead a team on sampling days, please let us know.  We offer training in the prior to the Spring and Fall Bug Hunts (see sidebar for dates). 

Winter Stonefly Search

Saturday. Feb. 13, 2016
University of Michigan-Dearborn
Environmental Interpretive Center
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
REGISTER (deadline Jan. 29, 2016)

Spring Bug Hunt

Saturday April 16, 2016
University of Michigan-Dearborn
Environmental Interpretive Center
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
REGISTER (deadline April 1, 2016)

Training Events

(experienced volunteers only)

Must have attended a bug hunt or stonefly search previously and be willing to be available for most sampling days

Bring waders or let us know your shoe size

Spring Team Leader Training

Sat. March 19, 2016
Plymouth Township Hall
9955 North Haggerty
Plymouth, MI 48170
Register (by March 4)