Biological and Habitat Monitoring

 Volunteers collect river creatures.

Insect and Habitat Monitoring

Through this program, families and individuals of all ages volunteer to study and protect the main branch of the Huron River and its many creeks and streams.  They can participate in a single day event, or join a team to “Adopt” a stream for a whole summer.

Single day events

These one-day only events require no training or previous knowledge.  A trained leader shows participants what to do, and the activities are suitable for everyone, from children to seniors.

Volunteers form small teams and travel to a stream or stretch of river. Depending on the project, they help our experienced researchers collect river creatures, take water samples, or map changes in the river. Volunteers learn to identify bugs and animals that live in the river, figure out what makes a stretch of river healthy or unhealthy, and understand how river ecology works.  This program is part of the biggest, longest-running river research project in Michigan, and the information gathered makes a big difference in keeping the Huron River clean and clear.

  • River Roundup: Volunteer teams find insects, crayfish and other small river creatures every Fall and Spring.
  • ID Day:  River scientists help volunteers identify the creatures found in the River Roundup.
  • Winter Stonefly Search:  In January volunteer teams find stoneflies in high quality streams.
  • Roundup Leader and Collector Training:  Volunteers train to lead the teams in the Roundup.
  • Measuring and Mapping: In August our interns map and measure the stream habitat. This activity requires training.


Summer-long monitoring

The Creekwalkers program consists of volunteers visiting the same stream location several times throughout the months of June, July, and August. The volunteers carry out a diversity of  tasks aimed at making the creek healthier and helping HRWC better understand any issues happening.

Other tidbits

Google Maps of stream monitoring sites (Great for smart phone navigation, if you have Google Maps app installed)

Data forms and procedures

Where are the results?

See the Current River Monitoring Reports and Plans page to view summaries of the results from the Adopt-a-Stream events.  For past River Monitoring Reports, go here.  If you would like to see the raw data, please email Paul Steen (

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