The Clinton Township Conservation Committee was recently on location at the Kukuk Drain playing in the muck. Not for fun but as a volunteer partner of the Clinton River Watershed Council’s Adopt-a-Stream program, designed to monitor the quality of water that flows from our streets, lawns, and parking lots, into our drains, then into our stream, out to the River and then eventually out into Lake St. Clair.
Results of the Study
The amount of bugs collected place the Kukuk Drain in the Fair to Poor category. However, we monitor over time because many factors can impact our findings. Wet Spring led to high water levels and faster flows. Water was really murky and many of our bugs were hard to find. But we continue to get batter at the collections.
Turns out the presence of bugs can tell us a lot about the quality of the water in those drains and streams, said Clinton Township Treasurer who also Chairs the Clinton Township Conservation Committee. Digging in stream-bed muck is not something I would normally consider a good time, but helping raising awareness on environmental issues and protecting water quality is part of our Committee’s mission, so here we are every Spring and Fall.
Some bugs like Scuds (Amphipoda), are more tolerant to the presence of pollutants and fertilizers, said Eric Diesing, Watershed Ecologist for the Clinton River Watershed Council, who was on hand with the Conservation Committee members, providing technical expertise. We get excited when we see less tolerant species like Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) or Stoneflies (Plecoptera), that tells us water quality is improving. Adopt-a Stream volunteers help tell us what’s working and where we need to target more efforts.