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Text and photos by SOLVE Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest members, Nicole Poletto and Lauren McKenna

Clackamas Middle College @ Phillip Creek on 3.7.2013

A bright sunny day is the perfect setting for sampling for macroinvertebrates!   A macroinvertebrate survey is one way that we can assess the health of the stream.  But wait, why wouldn’t we just stick a probe in the stream and measure the temperature, dissolved oxygen, etc?  That is because the water quality of the stream only at one point in time doesn’t tell us that much about the health of the stream as a whole.  It is a mere snapshot of stream health.  Therefore we pulled on some waders and hopped in the stream to collect macros!  Macroinvertebrates have relatively long lifespans and don’t migrate – the more diverse the macros found are, the healthier the stream is!

Since 4 classes came out to Phillips creek to assess the health, we divided the creek into 4 sections and moved upstream with each class so that we could get a full picture of Phillips creek’s health.  Students hopped in the stream and took 3 kicks with their D-nets in order to see what was living in the stream!  We found a lot of mayflies (such as small minnow mayflies), scuds, and aquatic worms, not to mention a few crayfish spottings!  Overall, the species that we found are relatively tolerant of pollution.  That means Phillips creek is not as healthy as it could be, and that is why Clackamas Middle College is devoted to improving stream health!  Thank you for all of your hard work!

What did we find?


SOLVE’s Annual Women in Science day will be held at Glen Otto Park in Troutdale on March 23rd from 9-1.  Girls – Are you interested in exploring a career in science? Come chat with mentors currently in the science field over breakfast!  In the afternoon we will be planting trees up the road at Beaver Creek!  Register online at :  See you there!

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