EPA water quality standards may not be protective of sensitive aquatic insects like mayflies (Credit: Bob Henricks, via Flickr)
Monitoring of macroinvertebrate populations in Michigan’s Fall Creek Watershed shows that most sites are improving or maintaining their species health, according to the Huron River Watershed Council.
Macroinvertebrate samples were taken by 137 volunteers during a total of 548 hours in the 2013 sampling season.
Analysis of population counts showed that 48 percent of the 50 sites monitored maintained a stable population of insects. About 23 percent of site showed a growth of macroinvertebrate populations. Populations declined in 19 percent of sample sites. The remainder of sites were too new to judge any changes.
One of the biggest success stories in the watershed was the increase in insect populations in Miller’s Creek where the number of insect families increased from three to 12.
Image: Baetis mayfliy nymph (Credit: Bob Henricks, via Flickr)