Exploring New Territory: The Pecos River

Last Friday was overcast and rainy, but that didn’t stop us from heading to the Pecos River with a Wildlife Biology class from Santa Fe High School! This class has been a part of Trout Unlimited’s Trout in the Classroom program, and they raised a tank full of tiny Rio Grande Cutthroat trout. Last Friday, the class released the trout. We also discussed and tested water quality and identified benthic macroinvertebrates, to be sure that the stream is healthy enough for the trout to survive.

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Using kick seines to find benthic macroinvertebrates.
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Now THAT’S a salmonfly!
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Looking at benthic macroinvertebrates with a few members of the Truchas TU Chapter.
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One of the tiny cutthroat, ready for release.
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The trout goes into the river!

We found a fantastic diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates, including some of the biggest stoneflies (Pteronarcys) I’ve ever seen. The Pecos is a very healthy river, with low values of turbidity and conductivity (until students began wading upstream) and high values of dissolved oxygen (DO). We have high hopes for these little trout!

Christy

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