Do you live on the Winnicut River, or one of its brooks or streams? Would you like to learn how to have a "better backyard," or be a steward for wildlife? Do you enjoy birding, kayaking, or trail walking? Have you got Invasive Plant Problems? Would you like to learn more about the Winnicut River and its wildlife diversity, from its treefrogs and trout lilies, to its black bears and white cedars? If you can answer 'yes' to any of the above, we need YOU. The WRWC is working hard to develop a Better Backyard campaign which promises to be a rewarding program for land/homeowners interested in protecting the integrity of the Winnicut River, its streams and brooks, and ultimately Great Bay, and the wildlife that lives and breeds here. E-mail us today to learn more at

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Third and final VBAP site

Yet another great day for sampling for aquatic insects in the Winnicut River was had on Wednesday, September 14th.  Exeter volunteer David Loch assisted WRWC project director Jean Eno (perhaps the other way around!), and Andy Gould from the Coastal Program also helped.

Biotic scores will be posted as soon as the data sheets are completed.  These scores are indicative of the kinds of insects found during sampling, with values assigned to certain insects having various tolerances to polluted water conditions.  We found some insects that are somewhat intolerant of polluted water, which is a good thing, but while a positive consideration at first glance, it would have been more reassuring if we had found insects that are outright intolerant of unhealthy water.

Exeter volunteer David Loch collects the day's bucket of water for holding the 5 samples that will be collected via kicknet.  He is just downstream of the bridge on Winnicut Rd. in Stratham, NH.

This little branch of the Winnicut main stem has just the right depth and riffling for our purposes!

The bridge is hard to see here, but it runs right to left near the top of the photo.  So, looking upstream. 

Facing upstream.  Winnicut Rd. bridge in Stratham.  Notice the old timbers from the former grist mill that once stood at this location.

"Scrubbing" for bugs!  The flow of the water pushes insects and debris scrubbed off the rocks straight into the net.  After 30+ seconds of scrubbing by hand, one volunteer will then use their feet for kicking up gravel, which also helps send insects into the net. 

The flow from the left (immediately to David's left) and the flow from the right (over by where the bucket sits) are the result of a secondary culvert next to the bridge which splits the main stem for a brief time.
Once under the bridge and through the culvert, the river returns to one stem.  Here, the camera is facing downstream from the Winnicut Rd. bridge in Stratham, NH  

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