On the hunt

Friends of the Rouge host annual Fall Bug Hunt 

BY ELIZABETH CASELLA 
STAFF WRITER 

IMAGE FROM PLUS.GOOGLE.COM Members from Friends of the Rouge search for insects for environmental health analysis.

IMAGE FROM PLUS.GOOGLE.COM
Members from Friends of the Rouge search for insects for environmental health analysis.

Many strange creatures lie below the waters of the Rouge River bed. Some are well known, but others remain a mystery. Twice a year, teams of volunteers visit sites throughout the headwaters of the watershed of the Rouge River 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. On Oct. 17 the Friends of the Rouge River will be hosting their Annual Fall Bug Hunt. The Bug Hunt will begin at 9 a.m. at Schoolcraft College in the VisTaTech Center.

Established in 1998, this event was created as a long-term program to monitor the health of Rouge streams. Many insects, aside from those being searched for, are found as well, such as snails, clams and grayfish. These species are all taken into consideration to analyze the overall habitat of the river.

Volunteers are essential in order to be able to monitor the Rouge’s habitat on a continual basis.

“The Bug Hunt allows for volunteers to gain a wide variety of knowledge about the environment they live in, as well as help collect data about the ecosystems and creatures that live within the Rouge River. It is a great opportunity and experience,” said South Lyon resident and former Bug Hunt volunteer, Amy Rozman.

Teams are split up into two locations to cover a larger area, and the number and types of bugs found are recorded at each site. Then, the data is submitted to the state and the Rouge Communities for research comparison and assessment.

Having the event held at Schoolcraft makes this opportunity to help the local environment extremely convenient for students to get involved with.

“I have always been interested in bugs and environmental research. This is a good experience to help me dive into the field I hope to study full time,” said Schoolcraft student Nicklas Koons.

No prior experience is needed to participate in these hunts. Further involvement is possible through offered training to become a team leader held prior to the fall and spring bug hunts.

The Alliance of Rouge Communities supports these Rouge River bug hunts held in the fall, winter and spring in order to give an unique opportunity to become involved in the conservation of the community. More information can be found on hometownlife.com/story/news/ local/westland/2015/09/10/ volunteers-rouge-fall-bug-hunt/71994190/.

General information about Friends of Rouge River or other Rouge River restoration events can be found at Therouge.com or by calling 313-792-9900.