Bolin Creek Monitoring
Conducting benthic macroinvertebrate surveys, or “bug pickin’,” is an excellent method for evaluating a stream’s water quality. A benthic macroinvertebrate survey is the collection, by a number of different methods, of animals lacking internal skeletons which live on or near the bottom of a waterbody. These “bugs” include crawfish, mayflies, nymphs, worms, snails, etc. Unlike chemical or physical parameters which indicate a snapshot of stream conditions, the number and diversity of benthic organisms is a better indicator of a stream’s ongoing water quality. Because the benthics are relatively immobile, the distribution of more or less sensitive organisms in a particular location is closely correlated with the water quality they experience there.
The Town has contracted with an environmental consultant for benthic sampling in Bolin Creek since 2001. The monitoring was initiated to provide documentation of stream health and water quality variability. During the first year, sampling events were conducted quarterly; in subsequent years the surveys have been conducted annually. Over this period, most of the sampling events have been conducted in four locations, providing an opportunity to analyze changes at each site over time. A map of the sampling locations is available below.