Monday, April 4, 2016

Trout Entomology Sampling Lamington River New Jersey

Recently, two of us seined aquatic insect pupae and larvae in a one-mile stretch of the Lamington River to get a hands-on grasp of what's there for trout. A fairly mild day in the 50's, the three-and-a-half hours passed very pleasantly. Forty-degree water required waders, of course, and most of the time we worked in that water, hiking up and downstream fairly long to get wide-ranging samples. The exercise soon brought me back around to my more natural self, and I wish I had more time to be this person. Someday, I may.

At first, it seemed as if various caddis species--mostly pupae burrowed into fragments of sedge stems--would prove prominent. I guess we both felt--perhaps--a little prejudiced, as if caddis, which require lesser water quality than mayflies, would be the bulk. Well, mayflies showed us that this water must be rather pure indeed.

We tallied the highest numbers of Hendrickson larvae. Also, we found what translate to blue-winged olives or Baetis, sulfurs, pale mornings, quills, and Isonychia. I remember Dave showed me sulfur larvae typically attach to decaying leaves. Otherwise, I did a lot of kicking of rocks, gravel, detritus, to loosen bugs to get caught in the net, and he lifted some stones with pupae attached, getting the lower arm section of his jacket wet. 

Among caddis, we found grammon, brown sedge, green sedge, and molted sedge--mostly grammon.
We also found yellow and black stoneflies (interesting-looking larvae, war-like), scuds, and one hellgrammite.

Altogether, 233 pupae and larvae, and since Dave is experienced where hatches really arise with great prevalence, I take his word that for New Jersey, this doesn't seem bad.