Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stream Insect Studies Underway!

Third graders at Belle Sherman Elementary have been studying macro-invertebrate populations (these are stream insects and crustaceans which are visible without magnification) in stream samples. They are getting help from our amazing Cornell Ed. 2400 interns Amanda and Yuhang.

The students have used their knowledge of insects, combined with dichotomous keys to identify a variety of insect larvae- stoneflies, mayflies, caddisflies and more. Using Isaac Walton League stream survey forms, they have also determined that samples from Enfield Creek and Lick Brook indicate very health streams. Either would be good habitat for trout!

At the end of the class, we feed insect larvae to the trout- and the trout go nuts! Insects are an incredibly important food- as fly-fishermen know- and our trout recognized them right away. There was one exception however... the trout fry were not in the least interested in HORSEFLY larvae, pictured to the right. Why might that be???

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