Monday, April 11, 2011

Wetlands Ecology Class

Wetland Ecology

April 9th, 2011

Silver Creek  Preserve

Picabo, Idaho

9:30 am, lots of cumulus and patchy sun.

Starting off in Hailey, Idaho, we journeyed to local Lyons park to see restoration projects along the wetlands of the Wood River.
 While there, we saw an Osprey with a fresh trout for breakfast, a Blue Heron, beaver ponds, a Muskrat, Mallard ducks, and a Red Headed Woodpecker.
             A good indicator of wetland health.    An abundance of life a mile from town.

  From there we traveled to Silver Creek Preserve, the world renowned trout fishing preserve.

But we were out for smaller game.
   Although we saw Canadian Geese, more Mallards, some large troutsies, and a Northern Harrier.

The weather became cooler, with a few Spring showers threatening.

 With our fearless leader,  Ms York in the lead we set off to assay stream health.

(She was also the only person with the proper footwear to get in the stream.)

After collecting samples, and sorting the species , we classified the inhabitants by identifying them.

So with the help of Species flash cards, we learned the names and dispositions of our guests.
After classifying, we counted. And the number and type of the stream denizen living in a test area indicate how healthy the stream is, because species are pollution tolerant, semi-tolerant, or not tolerant.
 So the lack or low count of non tolerant species indicate  pollution.
  Happy to say, Silver Creek Preserve and the Nature Conservancy are doing pretty well. 

         And one thing I can say, That I have never regretted taking a jacket  and gloves along  when I go out in Idaho.  :C)