The Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) is inviting the public to join them in their local stonefly research. What’s that exactly? Well, stoneflies are an insect and a great indicator of water quality. They like clean, cold and highly oxygenated water which typically comes with good stream health. So every winter, the CRWC sets out to locate and count stoneflies throughout the local Clinton River watershed.
Now it’s possible you’re thinking, it’s winter, why would this process take place when it’s cold? It’s simple. CRWC wants to find the winter stoneflies. These families of insects tend to emerge this time of year to avoid predation and to take advantage of optimal emergence conditions. CRWC relies on data from the stonefly search, as well as its Adopt-A-Stream citizen science programs, to help assess the health of the Clinton River and its tributaries.
So this is where the public comes in. CWRC needs help to conduct this research, and they’re hosting two events so you can join them.
The first is a virtual stonefly and bug ID training, which will be held via Zoom at 9 a.m. on January 16, the second is the actual stonefly search at 9 a.m. on January 30, which brings volunteers from around the watershed to actually go out and look for stoneflies in the Clinton River and its tributaries throughout the watershed.
For more information or to register for the training or the search, volunteers can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration for the search will close on January 25. For information on the Adopt-A-Stream citizen science program, volunteers can email email@example.com.
Please note, individuals under 18 years of age should have a parent or guardian present at the in-person event and will need to fill out a waiver form. Additionally, CRWC will provide all the needed equipment and you can participate in both events or either one separately. Happy stonefly searching!
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.