From the Aspen Daily News (Andrew Travers):
[Chad Rudow] is the water quality coordinator for the Roaring Fork Conservancy, the Basalt-based conservation organization. The conservancy has partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to survey bug life in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Surveying the variety of creeping things in the water, Rudow explained, is key to determining water quality and stream health. “Looking at what lives in the river is a great way to find out how clean this water is,” he said as he dipped a water quality meter into the river to take some initial readings for acidity and temperature.
Rudow and a team of volunteers spent six days sampling bug life on the Roaring Fork over the last week. They went to 17 different sites on the Fork, along with some of its tributaries, including Brush Creek. They’re looking for aquatic macroinvertebrates. That’s science jargon for insects that live in the water and are big enough to be seen with the naked eye, Rudow explained…
…Rudow excitedly pointed out mayflies and stone flies, which cannot live in water with even minimal pollution. It’s a good initial indicator that the upper Roaring Fork is in good shape.
More Roaring Fork watershed coverage here.