Instructors check a kick seine for aquatic insects
Western North Carolina’s Pigeon River, home to the endangered Appalachian elktoe mussel, is also home to an annual Kids in the Creek event, hosted by local watershed group Haywood Waterways. This year, over the course of three days, every eighth-grade student in the county visited the Pigeon River, where they rotated through a number of educational stations focused on stream health. Stations included watershed health, water chemistry, fish, and macroinvertebrates. Because the river is habitat for an endangered mussel, for years now the Service has helped with the macroinvertebrate station, leading students in the collection and identification of stream insects and other invertebrates.
Credit: Gary Peeples/USFWS