Virginia Bluebells, Spring Beauties and Trout Lilies lined the trails leading down to the Goose Creek near Riverside Parkway in Lansdowne, where Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy volunteers conducted a benthic macroinvertebrate survey on April 3. Two members of River Creek Confluence Park Committee and six members of Riverside High School’s Environmental Club collaborated with Loudoun Wildlife’s Stream Team to determine the ecological conditions of this stretch of the state scenic river.
Out of the 210 macros collected that day, the overwhelming majority were pollution-tolerant midges and less sensitive scuds. Scuds are a type of amphipod also known as “sideswimmers” because of how they move about. Volunteers even collected some gravid scuds – females with developing eggs in their brood pouches.
Despite a few pollution sensitive beetles, mayflies and stoneflies discovered in the net, this segment of the Goose Creek sadly received a very low score of 3, indicating unacceptable ecological conditions.
In addition to the survey, this site also served as the field certification location for River Creek’s Jack McNamee. Jack joins fellow River Creek member Harrison Crecraft and Riverside High School ninth grader Audrey Bowling as a lead certified monitor for the Goose Creek site. In addition to benthic monitoring at this site, River Creek and Riverside High plan to join forces to collect chemical and bacterial data starting later this year.