October 18, 2023 —
NepRWA and Greater Boston Trout Unlimited (GBTU) recently secured funding from the Trout Unlimited Embrace-A-Stream Program to study how road runoff affects aquatic wildlife and develop a school program to teach students about local fish. We will be working together in the next two years to take a careful look at three of our coldwater streams that are home to brook trout.
Specifically, NepRWA and GBTU volunteers will be collecting temperature and dissolved oxygen data from continuous loggers to document how road runoff adds heat to our coldwater streams and lowers dissolved oxygen. In addition, we’ll be looking at the “benthic macroinvertebrate community” – all the insects, worms, and snails that live in the stream, which are a necessary part of our stream’s wildlife, act as food for brook trout and other animals, and can tell us a lot about water quality generally. By seeing if there are differences before and after road crossings, we’ll see if the stormwater is hurting our stream organisms in a more long term way.
Finally, we’ll be developing a pilot program to talk about fish and coldwater in our middle school science classrooms, with a goal of being able to share it across the watershed so that students can learn more about the fish in their backyards.
Stay tuned for updates and opportunities to volunteer next spring! For any questions, please email NepRWA River Restoration Director, Sean McCanty.