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Volunteers needed for river, creek monitoring in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Cheboygan

The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council is looking for help from volunteers in the community that are interested in learning about water quality and gaining hands-on experience through monitoring rivers and creeks in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Cheboygan counties.

A free volunteer monitor training session will take place on Saturday Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Watershed Council located at 426 Bay St., Petoskey.

The free half-day training includes an overview of the program history and goals, monitoring protocols, sampling methods, and basic aquatic macroinvertebrate identification.

The training also includes an aquatic invasive species section to teach volunteers how to identify and report any exotic species they come across while conducting monitoring activities.

Any person or group willing to devote a small amount of time and energy to conduct simple stream checks in wadeable streams on a bi-annual basis, in the spring and fall, can become a Volunteer Stream Monitor.

No prior experience is necessary. All materials are provided.

Fall stream monitoring events will take place on the following dates:

TRAINING DAY – Saturday, September 16 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Watershed Council office on Bay Street, downtown Petoskey.

FIELD DAY – Saturday, September 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at various local stream in Northern Michigan. During the field day volunteers teams will collect a representative sample of aquatic macroinvertebrates and note general stream conditions at two sites. Materials for the field day are supplied. Waders are recommended.

INDOOR IDENTIFICATION DAY – Sunday, October 1 from 12:00 Noon to 3:00 p.m. in room #335 of the Health Education and Science Center at North Central Michigan College.

Samples that were collected during the Field Day are sorted and identified. Materials and microscopes to help identify the macroinvertebrates are provided.

Attending all three sessions is recommended, but not required. For reservations, additional information, or directions, contact Matt Claucherty at 231-347-1181 or email

The Watershed Council’s service area contains more than 2,500 miles of rivers and streams, including multiple blue-ribbon trout streams. With the assistance of volunteers, the Watershed Council is currently able to conduct monitoring at 43 sites on 16 different rivers and creeks. With additional volunteers, the Watershed Council can continue to expand the program to other streams throughout Northern Michigan.

For additional information about the Watershed Council’s volunteer monitoring programs, visit

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