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Little Forks Conservancy

Stream Sampling

Volunteers collect samples from the Cedar River.Each spring and fall, volunteers put on their waders to determine the water quality of the Cedar River. Little Forks Conservancy began monitoring the water quality of the Cedar River in the fall of 2015.

The Cedar River Stream Sampling project provides a great opportunity for “citizen scientists” to learn about the importance of using macroinvertebrates to monitor the health of a watershed. Macroinvertebrates are animals without a backbone that can be seen with the naked eye. These bottom-dwelling animals include crustaceans and worms, but most are aquatic insects.

During the sampling day, experienced volunteers act as team leaders and collectors, working in the streams to ensure quality samples are acquired. Newer volunteers assist their team leaders with sorting and transporting the samples.

Following the sampling day, volunteers identify the species that have been collected. The types of species collected help determine the water quality at the site. Those results are then shared with the State of Michigan.

To see the results of our latest stream sampling, click here.

To learn more about the Cedar River Stream Sampling project, contact Elan Lipschitz at elipschitz@littleforks.org.