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Bug Hunts (Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring)

What is a Bug Hunt?

Do you ever wonder about what lives in the river besides fish and turtles? Come to one of our Rouge River Bug Hunts and see for yourself the amazing variety of aquatic insects, crayfish,snails and clams (technically known as benthic macroinvertebrates: animals without a backbone that live in the streambed) that make up the bottom of the river food chain. 

Volunteers visit sites throughout the headwaters of the watershed and search for mayflies, stoneflies and other aquatic invertebrates. The presence or absence of these streambed creatures reflects the quality of the water and habitat. 

How do I Volunteer?

Bug Hunts are held in April and October. No prior experience is necessary but you do need to pre-register to be assigned to a team. Children five and older are welcome when accompanied by a participating adult.  Groups of six or less can sign up together. 

Once you have attended one event, you might consider increasing your level of involvement by attending training and learn to assist a team at future events.

What is the Stonefly Search?
In the winter we hold a Stonefly Search that is similar to the Bug Hunts except we only look for one type of bug. Stoneflies are very sensitive aquatic insects that hatch from streams in winter. 

This program is certified by the Michigan Clean Water Corps with an approved Quality Assurance Project Plan.



Friends of the Rouge volunteers have been collecting data on benthic macroinvertebrates ("bugs") since 1998.  We use protocols and forms developed by the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) for Stream Monitoring.  MiCorps is the organization that oversees volunteer monitoring for the state of Michigan.

We have 143 sites (view a map of sites). Most sites are sampled every season for three years and then sampled on a rotating basis every few years.  Wayne County Department of Public Works Water Quality Management Division samples additional sites and provides the data to FOTR. Schoolcraft College also monitoring a site on their campus.


Data is compared by season (Fall, Spring, Stonefly).  
Check out our map of sites.  For a report on each sampling event, use the table below.

2017  Stonefly  
2016 Stonefly Spring Fall 
 2015 Stonefly Spring Fall
 2014 Stonefly Spring Fall
 2013 Stonefly Spring Fall
 2012 Stonefly Spring Fall
 2011 Stonefly Spring Fall
 2010 Stonefly Spring Fall
 2009 Stonefly Spring Fall
2008 Stonefly Spring Fall 




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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ċ
Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ċ
Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ċ
Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ċ
Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ċ
Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ċ
Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ċ
Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ċ
Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
Ċ
Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:52 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 10:02 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 11:48 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 12:00 PM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 10:03 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Dec 3, 2015, 11:28 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Nov 10, 2015, 10:03 AM
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Sally Petrella,
Dec 9, 2015, 12:58 PM
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