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Watershed Watch Community Science

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Where to sample depends on the purpose of your research. Sample in riffles if you want to learn the most information about the insects that have low tolerance to pollution. Over the years most schools and professionals in New Mexico have sampled in riffles. However, to learn about the broad diversity of benthic insects in your stream, you want to sample in a variety of habitats such as slow water areas, small logs, undercut banks, leaves, and in riffles using the dip net method. Remember your safety is the most important thing! Be careful around cold and fast moving water.

To sample begin by finding some riffles. Then have one person hold the net against the bottom of the river while another person (or multiple people) kick the bottom of the river. Be sure the person kicking is upstream from the net so that all of the benthic macroinvertibrate end up in the net!