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Nothing fishy here: students help gauge stream temperatures for trout

Schools team up in watershed habitat monitoring project

Northview — Rich Youngberg, coordinator of Outdoor Experiences at Northview High School and Fly Fishing Club adviser, last week took 11th-grade students from Northview, West Catholic, Rockford and Cedar Springs to several sites along Cedar Creek and Rogue River. But this was not a fishing trip, rather a trip to help fish flourish.  

Northview 11th graders Gibson Mears, left, and Sam Wilde take temperature readings and document them

Northview Fly Fishing Club students have been working with Trout Unlimited to help monitor the health of the Rogue River through data collection, including river temperatures. The goal is to assess coldwater habitat suitability throughout the watershed by deploying temperature loggers, to help identify and prioritize conservation projects. Trout need cold water, and the students are learning every way to understand the river and trout habitat 

Last week students deployed the temperature loggers by securing electronic monitoring devices in casings and anchoring them in the stream bed, taking real-time temperature readings and documenting the deployment site. This was to ensure that anyone who may end up retrieving the loggers can find them. 

Said Sam Wilde, a Northview 11th-grader, “It’s good to have a community of guys who like to walk and sit in the river for a couple of hours!”

A Rogue River temperature sites map
The students, all 11th-graders, walk to a site along Cedar Creek. From left: Gibson Mears, Keaton Raska, Sam Wilde, and Calvin Hyde, all from Northview; Damien Pohl, Creative Technology Academy in Cedar Springs; Owen Cavanaugh, West Catholic; and Rich Youngberg, coordinator of Outdoor Experiences at Northview High School and Fly Fishing Club adviser
Northview students (from left) Sam Wilde, Gibson Mears and Calvin Hyde deploy temperature loggers by securing electronic monitoring devices in casings and anchoring them in the stream bed
An electronic monitoring device used to take stream temperatures
The students check out another site. At right, Damien Pohl, an 11th-grader at Creative Technology Academy in Cedar Springs, wants to study Fisheries Management at Lake Superior State
Students take a break to have some fun in Cedar Creek
Calvin Hyde anchors electronic monitoring devices in casings in the stream bed
Gibson Mears marks a deployment site with a red tag
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Dianne Carroll Burdick
Dianne Carroll Burdick has worked as a photojournalist in the West Michigan area since 1991. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she has photographed for The Grand Rapids Press, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Detroit Free Press, Advance Newspapers, Grand Rapids Magazine, BLUE Magazine and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting and thought provoking stories of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2016.

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