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Friends of the Rouge Seek Stonefly Search Volunteers

The insects are a sign that the river, which runs through the Dearborn area, is healthy.

Are you looking for something to do this winter that is fun and helps a good cause? Friends of the Rouge is looking for volunteers to help with the 12th annual search for stoneflies on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The Rouge River watershed flows through Dearborn.

Finding a stonefly living in the river is a good indication that the river is healthy, because these small insects require cold, clean water. Last year, 73 volunteers found these “nuggets of gold” at 14 of 32 sites. This year, they hope to find even more.

The search begins at the University of Michigan-Dearborn at 9 a.m. No searching is done in Dearborn; volunteers carpool out in 10-12 teams to Rouge streams located around metropolitan Detroit. Volunteers must pre-register by Jan. 11 at www.therouge.org or by calling 313-792-9621.

Volunteers must dress for the weather and be prepared to be out in the cold for several hours. Only trained team leaders go in the water; volunteers search through samples on the bank. Children five years and older are welcome when accompanied by a participating adult; groups of up to six people can be accommodated.

The Annual Winter Stonefly Search is part of a long-term monitoring program coordinated by Friends of the Rouge. It is supported by the Alliance of Rouge Communities and conducted in partnership with Wayne County Department of Public Services. A report on the results from the Fall Bug Hunt held Oct. 20, 2012 was just completed. Data from the Winter Stonefly Search and the spring and fall “Bug Hunts” is used to track the health of the river and assess the progress of river improvement projects.

Source: Friends of the Rouge press release

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