Archivos de diario de febrero 2024

22 de febrero de 2024

Winter Stonefly Search 2024

On 2/17/2024, I embarked on my first winter stonefly (Taeniopterygidae and Capniidae) hunt. We were at a new site for my organization, an addition to our usual site. It was another site along the same river, but about a mile or so further downstream. It was pretty cold and a little snowy, but the sun was shining very brightly. It didn't feel like it was doing much though, besides giving my minimal exposed skin some vitamin D, and perhaps brightening the overall mood.

We were only there to count the winter stoneflies, and record the presence of any other macroinvertebrates we found. My coworker introduced me to the volunteers as someone who is "very good at IDing macros." Oh boy. I was on "picker" duty, picking out the macros from the samples taken from the river. It felt right, considering I was the best identifier at the site, even though that was not a high bar to clear. For most there, it was their first water quality monitoring event.

This experience was different from my time volunteering with another watershed organization. Granted, I'd never done a winter search, so maybe things are different during the winter. But when we got the buckets with the macros picked up from the river, there was no water in the buckets. We had to pour water in ourselves, which felt weird to me. In my other experiences, you would use a squirt bottle to wash the macros into the bucket. Not a problem, just different.

One problem we did encounter was that it was so cold that the water we put in our ice cube trays was fulfilling its destiny of becoming ice cubes. So the macros got a little frozen. We tried to break up the ice when we noticed it freezing. I wonder if putting more water in the trays would at least slow down the freezing process. I also struggled to see the macros in the harsh sunlight with my transitional lenses. I really should get an alternate pair of glasses for situations where sunglasses are not helpful.

We found three families of stoneflies: the two we set out to find and a third, Perlodidae. Unfortunately, I did not make an observation of the one Perlodidae we found because there were a lot of stoneflies to count and my fingers were freezing in the numbing cold.

However, I did find a few interesting mayfly families and a new-to-me damselfly family (in the nymph stage. I've seen the adults). We found my friend's favorite mayfly family, Heptageniidae. We also found Ephemeridae and Isonchyiidae. When I saw those nymphs, I barely recognized that they were mayflies! They look so different from the ones I usually see. The new damselfly family was Coenagrionidae. We also saw a crayfish. Exciting stuff!

All in all, glad to know that this river is in tip-top shape!

Publicado el febrero 22, 2024 03:11 TARDE por bluebellprince bluebellprince | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario