Riffle Bioassessment   

Heather Geist collecting macroinvertebrate samples in Cherry Brook.

    Aquatic insects (and other stream-bottom macro-invertebrates) are a particularly good measure of water quality since many are pollutant sensitive, are readily collected, and can be rapidly identified. Aquatic insects spend a lifecycle in the same stream section, so the species present (or absent) reveal a water quality history that a single water sample taken at one point in time cannot.

FRWA conducts macroinvertebrate sampling days in September and October to monitor streams of the watershed on a rotating basis. Volunteers are recruited and trained to do the sampling in a one-day workshop. We use the sampling method in “Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers” program (RBV) developed by CT DEEP. Results are available on DEEP’s website.

Paige Vichiola displaying her macroinvertebrate collection.

Volunteer trainings are typically conducted in September. If you are interested in volunteering click here.