Peepin’ the Peepers!

This week team Z started at Fond du Lac learning how to use fish as a proxy for water quality. We suited up in waders, equipt with nets, and walked through some thick vegetation to get to our survey sites in Fond du Lac streams. We employed the technique called electroshocking to stun fish, identify and mark their occurrence, and allow them to recover downstream. I noticed that many streams are dominated by one species of fish and usually they are species that are tolerant to many and even poor conditions in streams, generalists. Species like Brook Trout are good indicators of clean, unpolluted waters. We saw some Brook Trout in a couple streams that we surveyed!

Me holding a 10 in Brook Trout in a beautiful stream that we sampled.

The second half of the week was spent in the lab and research farm. We pulled out our peepers this week and had fun extracting the pore water samples. Our experience at the farm caught the attention of local news outlets and we were featured in videos and articles.

At the research farm the day that the media came. I’m extracting water samples using a syringe, poking through a bag filled with nitrogen with the peepers to keep the sample anoxic. Gage is coordinating the sample tubes, Matt is weighing samples and retrieving peepers, and Arianna is taking pH measurements.

Back in the lab we used a spectrophotometer to measure the amount of sulfide and iron in our samples and collected additional data with our samples.

Matt and I using the spectrophotometer.

This coming week we will do data entry and analyze the peeper data!

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