PRATT– Crew members from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) Stream Survey and Assessment Program are traveling across the state this summer to collect information regarding the health of Kansas’ flowing waters.
From May through August, a team of biologists, stream ecologists and numerous volunteers will visit 45 sites in nearly 20 different counties to study a vast array of aquatic life. Primary survey sites this summer include the Saline and Smoky Hill River basins.
Since 1994, KDWPT has been surveying and assessing streams to establish and maintain an inventory of the fish, mussels and other aquatic invertebrates found in Kansas’ 12 river basins. The results and samples from each site are used to help manage native aquatic communities, including threatened and endangered species and species in need of conservation.
“Native species are good indicators of the overall health and vitality of our land,” said ecologist and program coordinator Mark VanScoyoc.
“The fish we catch for recreational purposes out of our reservoirs, lakes, and ponds can be raised in a hatchery and released, but this is not the case for many native stream species at this time. It’s only prudent to realize that what is good for our aquatic species is going to be good for us as well.”
For more information on this program, visit www.ksoutdoors.com and click “Services/Stream Assessment and Monitoring Program.”