On weekend mornings, I often get my fly fishing gear out and with my husband head to a stream nearby. I live in Concord, NH and I am fortunate that there are so many great fishing streams nearby. I might head west to fish the Contoocook, north up to the White Mountains to fish the Pemi or the Ammonoosuc, west to fish the Isinglass, or even stay in the “city” and fish the Merrimack, Soucook, or Suncook. On long weekends, we might head further afield to explore a new stream. One of my favorite trips was up to the north country last fall to fish the Dead Diamond River. It was a cold but beautiful day and we didn’t see anyone else, the river was all ours. We didn’t catch any fish but I really loved that river, the big cobbles and the complexity of the habitat.
|Madeleine fishing on the Dead Diamond River. Photo credit Neil Olson.|
Since I enjoy fishing, you might wonder why I don’t study fish but I like having a more holistic view of the whole ecosystem. A healthy native fish community is a great indicator that the stream ecosystem is healthy. However, monitoring and understanding water quality allows us to detect disturbances to the stream ecosystem early on and potentially address these issues before negative effects cascade to impact the fish.
Posted by Madeleine Mineau, Research Scientist, Earth Systems Research Center, University of New Hampshire