Finally, after rescheduling twice, a group of 14 hardy individuals gathered at Rock Bottom Cabins along Wilson Creek this morning for our winter aquatic invertebrate study, thus wrapping up our promise to take samples in all four seasons. With wind howling and snow swirling about our red faces, we took two large and several small samples, collecting a total of 84 organisms including one (so far) unidentified fish and two salamanders. The creek was in fast flow due to recent precipitation, air temperature was 35F and water temp holding at 36F.
Roach-like, giant, and winter stoneflies, flat-headed and other mayflies, net-spinning and case building caddis flies, water pennies, hellgrammites, midges, and true fly larvae were all collected with the stoneflies and mayflies by far most abundant. Because of the weather conditions, we were not able to conduct a more thorough inventory, but everyone had the opportunity to look at some of the smaller organisms and outstanding features under the microscopes, along with taking the time for some field sketching.
BRDC was represented by Eric Harrold, Aaron Floyd, and Scott Jackson-Ricketts. High school teachers Rebecca Absher and Deborah Grief brought students from Grayson County High School’s ECO Club, and Lisa Benish, local Scout leader, provided Boy Scouts. This was one of if not the best attended of all our surveys, with 9 young people present. Without exception, everyone applied themselves with surprising enthusiasm during the 2 ½ hours we gave to the effort.