Deer Park Academy came out to WIllow Creek today to explore the macroinvertebrates living under rocks in the stream to gain a sense of the water quality. After about 15 minutes of very hard work strapping on our very snug boots, we leapt out to WIllow Creek to explore. Immediately, we found a mussel shell, also known as a “valve.” Willow Creek is one of two sites SOLVE currently works on that has mussels! We are so happy they are there.
We found tons of snails and began asking questions about what kind they might be, native or invasive. We are consulting with a biologist with the State of Oregon to find out! We will keep you all posted.
We headed downstream and noticed a damselfly flying around! It was bright blue and beautiful. Later, we found a damselfly larvae in the stream! We also found tons of Rough Skinned Newts in the stream. Since they are in their mating season, we left them be despite our strong urges to pick them up (thanks again, guys!).
All in all, it was a successful day exploring and practicing the art of putting on and taking off boots and waders. We hope to have another adventure with macroinvertebrates in the future and record and analyze our findings.
Thank you, Clean Water Services, for funding this project!