We are hopeful for a good catch today. We gather all of our equipment early so we won't forget anything this time! It has been 5 weeks since our last visit to Caffee Creek. The air temperature is 29 degrees C. We are excited to see 70 turtles and 1 Great Blue Heron on the road into the refuge.
The water temperature is much warmer than our other visits, 20.5 degrees C. The pH is 7.0 in running water and 7.5 in still water. The water depth is 11 inches at our monitoring site. The weather is warm and dry. It has not rained for several weeks. The water is clearer than any other visit. There is no suspended material in the water.
We begin to monitor the water at 11:45 a.m. We have a special guest, Ms. Owings, who taught biology before she retired. We go to the spot where we found so many macroinvertebrates on rocks on our last visit. There are many rocks here. Daniel and Breanne hold the net and Sarah disturbs the water. Sarah picks up rocks and brushes them off into the net. One large crayfish darts from under a rock and we hunt for it. It is grayish, white in color. We see another one under a rock and catch it with a mesh strainer. It has bluish green claws and body.
Benthic macroinvertebrates are fairly easy to find when we take the net out of the water. There are 22 mayfly larvae, 3 stonefly larvae, 8 caddisfly larvae, 1 dobsonfly, 3 water penny beetles, and 21 gilled snails in the sensitive category. In the somewhat sensitive category, there are 1 damselfly, 1 clam, and 2 crayfish. There are 3 aquatic worms found in the tolerant category.
The overall water quality rating is 22 which is in the good category. There is a total of 65 macroinvertebrates, so this is probably a reliable rating.
We had three visitors today. They are Ms. Owings, Mr. Miller, and Chris, a member of the refuge staff.
We released the macros back to their habitat.