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