Fish Shiners and chubs Catfish Bluegill
Amphibians Tadpoles Leopard Frog Bull Frog
Amphibians Mudpuppy – retains gills throughout life Salamanders – Larvae have gills, legs
Reptiles Red-eared slider Adult Snapper
Reptiles Queen Snake – common in our area - non-venomous Northern Water Snake – aggressive but non-venomous
Birds Eastern Kingfisher Green Heron Red-winged Blackbird
Mammals Raccoon Mink Muskrat Beaver
None of the previous animals are used to indicate the quality of water in an area – they are nice to find, but are often the first to go if the water is not good.
Indicators of Water Quality Macroinvertebrates – without backbones, large enough to be seen Many of the macroinvertebrates are insect larvae that spend part of their life cycle as aquatic organism.
The macroinvertebrates are divided into groups based on their tolerance of poor water conditions. Group I– indicators of good water quality. These have low tolerance of pollutants. Group II– indicators of fair water quality. These have moderate tolerance of pollutants. Group III– indicators of poor water quality. These have high tolerance of pollutants and low oxygen levels.
Stonefly adult Stonefly nymph Food for many fish 1
Mayfly adult Mayfly nymph Adult only lives for a day or so to mate. 1 Food for many fish
Dobsonfly larva Dobsonfly adult Adults only live for a few days to mate. Also called a hellgrammite. Food for many fish – good bait too! 1
Caddisfly adult Caddisfly larva Found in little cases of sand and sticks on the bottom of rocks. 1
Water penny larva Type of beetle - found on the bottom of rocks. 1
Crane fly larva Crane fly adult Adults look like giant mosquitoes – they do not bite and are lousy fliers. These are not the water striders that might also be found. Horsefly and deerfly larvae are similar. 2
Damselfly nymph Adults hold wings together when resting. Dragonfly nymph Larvae are voracious predators – often catching fish and tadpoles! Adults hold wings parallel when resting. 2
Crayfish or Crawdads - Decapods Crustacean – shell on the outside. Look like small lobsters Holes in the banks or “chimneys” in the fields near the stream are made by some species of crayfish 2
Scuds or side swimmers - Amphipods Sow bugs - Isopods Crustaceans – shell on the outside. Look like tiny shrimp Crustaceans– related to the “roly-polys” found under rocks on land. 2
Beetle larvae Alderfly larva 2
Clams and Mussels – Mollusks These are filter feeders – siphons bring water into the animal and nutrients are removed 2
Leeches Aquatic worms Segmented worms – only some are blood suckers. Good bait too! Flat worms - Planaria Simple organisms – look carefully on the bottom of rocks 3
Midge larva Blackfly larva This insect larva has a suction cup on one end to anchor it to rocks. This insect larva lives in the silt and on leaves. Some are called a “blood worms” due to red color. 3
1 Left hand snails– have lung-like organs and breathe air - can live in polluted water Right hand snails– have gills and need water with higher oxygen levels 3
The key to a healthy stream is its BIODIVERSITY – finding a wide variety of macroinvertebrates is best. If only Group III organisms are found, you should be concerned about the health of the stream. The Tally Sheet helps you to determine the biodiversity and health of the stream.
Poor 0 - 11 Excellent 23+ Fair 12 - 16 Good 17 - 22
Sources of line drawings: www.seanet.com/~leska You may download, copy, or distribute this guide for educational purposes but not for resale. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Kentucky WaterWatch: www.state.ky.us/nrepc/water/bioindpg.htm Pictures A Golden Guide – Pond Life St. Martin’s Press Other sites for guides: www.waterwatch.org.au/.../introduction.html