by Jake Strevig, HS Life Sciences teacher
In the 9th grade River Ecology course, we take an in-depth dive into the world of aquatic macro-invertebrates. We inventory the number and diversity of critters living in French Creek using leaf packs to create a controlled experimental habitat. After a few weeks we remove the leaf packs from the stream, then count and record the numbers and diversity of macro-invertebrates. Next we enter those numbers into a simple equation and we are able to have a good indicator of stream health.
Friday, April 21st was our first day and the creek, and we were not looking for specifics yet. We were exploring and getting a feel for the amazing amount of diversity in our little creek. We gently captured some specimens using nets and carefully placed them in our sample boxes for observation and preliminary identification. There are at least 15 different species in these pictures! They are not all invertebrates, and some are hidden amongst the rocks, but they all live together in our little river. Not pictured are the six big crayfish in a separate bucket.
Can you identify any of them?
If you want to learn more about Leaf Packs, visit https://leafpacknetwork.org/