The Compleat Angler (benthic invertebrate version)

A lovely fall day beckoned and I grabbed my gear and head to Holmes Run in Alexandria with anticipation of landing some big ones. No not of the vertebrate variety, but benthic invertebrates, affectionately known as “stream bugs”. I arrived midmorning with my kicknet, sieve, and forceps, a somewhat different toolkit than Izaak Walton might recommend… Being of a scientific bent’ I also had my YSI sonde and water collection bottles… 

The water was clear and fast flowing and if we’d been in a pristine, forested in watershed in the mid Atlantic, we could have expected to find a vast diversity of “stream bugs”. However, we are in the middle of Northern Virginia . . embedded in suburban deveopment. And the stream rocks had a furry mat of algae covering their surface.

Would there be an abundance of bugs? How many species and which kinds? And what did the water quality data show?

Tune into my next blog posting for the answers . .. 😉


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