Crossroads Comes to Dupont Environmental Education Center

By Lesley Bensinger, Education Coordinator, Dupont Environmental Education Center

On January 31st 18 students from Crossroads of Delaware came to the DuPont Environmental Education Center (DEEC) to participate in a ‘What’s in the Water?’ field study.  We enjoyed mild winter temperatures as we researched the answer to this question.  Students used pond nets, a fish trap baited with cat food, a minnow trap baited with bread, and microscopes.  18 species were found in and around the pond within the 90 minute program.  Nice job Crossroads! 

A student uses a cast-net to catch fish and other organisms in the tidal pool at DEEC. Photo by Jim White

Golden Shiners were caught by students using the fish trap.  This minnow species can reach up to 14 inches long and are a top notch bait fish, especially for striped bass seekers.  There are plenty of snails, pond plant material, and zooplankton for them to feast on in our pond.  The students also caught dozens of small blue gills (1-2 inches long) using pond nets.  These young blue gills, mummichogs and killifish serve as feeder fish for larger pond fish as well as wading birds such as the great blue heron, whose tracks were observed along the pond banks.

A Golden Shiner that was caught and examined by the Crossroads group. Photo by Lesley Bensinger

Species List:

Golden Shiner (a fish) Bluegill
Black Crappie (a fish) Banded Killifish
Scud (crustacean) Pouch Snail
Orb Snail Daphnia (zooplankton)
Ostracod (zooplankton) Freshwater Mussel
Asian Clam Green Frog tadpole
Belted Kingfisher Ring-billed Gull
Fish Crow Great Blue Heron (tracks)
American Beaver (tracks) Mummichog (a fish)
Crossroads students show off three Golden Shiners that were caught in the fish trap. Photo by Jim White

 We kept a Golden Shiner, Blue Gill, Killifish, and Mummichog in our native fish tank.  Stop by DEEC and check them out!

The group was thrilled to see what lives in the marsh, and were able to study many different species that they caught during the field trip. Photo by Jim White

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