The kinds of bugs that live in the water tell us how healthy the stream is.
Some species can live only in particular environmental conditions. Bugs die or flourish in response to changing water quality conditions. Many insect species require good water quality, especially the larvae of caddisflies, mayflies, and stoneflies. These species require clear, clean, well-oxygenated water, as do salmon and trout. Other insect larvae and aquatic worms tolerate a wider range of environmetnal conditions (Streamkeepers Manual Module 4).
Streamkeepers periodically go to the creek, trap bugs using a fine net, and count them.
Photo By David Burkholder
The captured bugs are divided into 3 categories depending on how tolerant they are to pollutants with reference to Streamkeepers Manual Module 4. We put the bugs into ice trays to help us count each species.
Photo by Paul Cipywnyk
Results vary depending on the location as well as the time of year. In general, Byrne Creek falls between "Marginal and Poor".
Results spreadsheet (Excel format, 68KB)
Data entry by David Burkholder, John Grange, Yumi Kosaka and Maho Hayashi.