(Every Other) Tuesday Trivia

On 94.3 REV FM - Tune in March 3rd at 4:40 PM

It’s Every Other Tuesday Trivia time, brought to you by the Upper Guadalupe River Authority: Protecting our Guadalupe River through education, monitoring, and planning.

Read on for tips to answering this week's trivia question:

A healthy Guadalupe River is important to us as a drinking water source, recreational opportunity, and economic engine of the community.  The river has shaped our community for decades, but humans are not the only ones benefiting from this natural resource.  Looking out at the river as you drive through town, you may not realize the abundance of nonhuman life that is also relying on this precious resource.  Plants and animals not only benefit from clean water but can also tell us a lot about the health of the river.

UGRA conducts routine water quality monitoring to ensure that the quality of the Guadalupe River remains exceptional.  Although we often test the water to identify substances that should not be there, we also look to animals living in the water for clues about its quality.  Certain species of fish and insects are often used as indicators of water quality because some are more sensitive to pollution than others.  For example, the Guadalupe bass can only live in clean, fast flowing streams.  We have a healthy population of Guadalupe bass in Kerr County which is an indication that the river and its tributaries are of excellent quality.

Freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates are insects that are large enough to see with the naked eye and are found on the bottom of rivers, lakes, and streams. These animals live under rocks, on logs and plants, or buried in the sediment and debris.  Unlike fish, aquatic invertebrates cannot move very far or fast so they are less able to escape the effects of sediment and other pollutants that diminish water quality. Therefore, they can give us reliable information on the health of a river or stream.  In order to capture these critters, we stir up the bottom sediments of the river and position our net to catch the animals as they float downstream.  Next, the animals are sorted to determine the type and overall number of species captured.  Mayflies, dragonflies, and hellgrammites are very sensitive to pollution. If a large number of the larval stage of these insects are found, it tells us that the water quality is excellent and the habitat is healthy.  If only pollution tolerant organisms such as leaches and worms are found, it could be a sign the water is polluted.

Visit our Education Center to learn more!