friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920


What is Monitoring?

The goal of Monitoring is to engage residents in collecting data about the health of the watershed.

Biological indicator species (bugs, frogs, fish, etc.) are used because their ability to live in the system reflects the long term health of the watershed. As water quality improves, bugs frogs and fish are returning. This includes some of the more sensitive species that cannot survive in degraded systems.

Collecting this type of data is fun and interesting for those who like to be outdoors and get closer to wetlands and streams. New volunteers are surprised to learn about the variety of life in local streams and enjoy getting to know more about the natural environment while contributing to science.

All over the world, volunteers or community scientists are engaged in collecting data on the health of our ecosystems. In the Rouge, our data is used to identify problem areas for additional investigation and to track restoration project success.

Monitoring Activities

Bug Hunts

Frog & Toad Surveys

Fish Monitoring


We have 143 stream sites where we have collected data on benthic macroinvertebrates and fish and 905 quarter sections with frog and toad observations.  Reports are available under the three programs (Bug Hunts, Frog & Toad Survey, Fish) and we are in the process of adding the data so that it is more freely available. Download Survey Blocks HERE.