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Macroinvertebrate Mayhem

Macroinvertebrate Mayhem


 

Westhill High School honors and regents biology students spent time in Harbor Brook (the stream adjacent to the school) collecting macroinvertebrates (small insects, worms and crustaceans) to determine stream quality. Students are currently learning about freshwater systems, how they’re connected, and how humans impact the ecological balance of these systems. Visitors from Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection [WEP] met with students to discuss how they monitor stream and lake quality through their collection of macroinvertebrates and electrofishing. Electrofishing is a procedure used to shock a specified area of the water, temporarily paralyzing the fish, which allows scientists to take careful inventory of the species of fish present, record measurements specific to their overall health, which is predictive of water quality. Students also learned that as water quality in Onondaga Lake has improved, some 66 different fish species have returned, with 14 of them currently using the lake as a successful reproduction site!

 


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