Fishbugs goes to Grayson Highlands State Park

July 10th, 2011

Though BRDC did not originally plan on a Fishbugs satellite program, through our friendship with Americorps intern, Kelly Servick and her association with the park's Chief Ranger, Kevin Kelley, we were invited to bring Fishbugs to the park. Kelly secured a summer position here as an educator and program director. She is simply too good for words. Below, Kelly and Justine.

We gathered by the side of Quebec Branch with tables and equipment, and began to turn over rocks and dip nets. Three kids and two moms joined us, along with park resident Andy Holland, whose help was significant. Justine Jackson-Ricketts, Aaron Floyd and Scott Jackson-Ricketts represented BRDC.

From 10:30 AM until 1:00 PM or so, we discovered, examined and listed the larval forms of mayflies, stoneflies, black flies, a variety of caddisflies, one dragonfly, at least two species of salamanders, and many crayfish. Note the two color morphs of the crayfish in this photograph.

Also we caught live adult forms of stone and may flies, one stonefly of a brilliant green. Absent were water pennies and snails, and all the stoneflies were slender and quite small. The black fly larvae were discovered ‘catching a ride’ on one of the crayfish, causing us to wonder if there were some kind of parasitic event occurring.

Because BRDC strongly believes in creative documentation, we once again encouraged the group to sketch what they had found. The kids (and adults) did not disappoint. So, here is our gallery from today.