Text and Photos
By Deb Patterson
Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation’s annual Bug Catch was another success as all ages gathered to see what microinvertibrates could be found along the shore of the WACF property Saturday morning. The annual Bug Catch is part of WACF’s Lake Talks and Eats program and is a poplar event each year.
Some of the participants were old hands at the event, as they had participated in years past. But for a large number this was their first time and they enjoyed it.Guests were greeted at the Ruddell Pavilion where they signed in and then found their way to three tables where volunteers talked about what they would be looking for. The kids enjoyed looking at the baby snapping turtle, a small fish and a catfish. They also had an opportunity to view smaller “critters” found in the lake through special viewers, such as water fleas and other small creatures.
It was at these stations participants learned how the microinvertibrates can tell the quality of water they live.
Then it was a trip down to the trail to gather nets and wade into Lake Wawasee to begin the search.
While orb snails, zebra mussels, minnows, aquatic worms, right-handed snails and scrubs were found, the most interesting find was by Ethan Harkleroad.
Young Harkleroad’s net contained a worm like creature that was jumping like a fish. It was determined that he had found a baby gar. This unique find was a delight to all who were present with many of the kids petting the eel-like looking fish.
A few adults and kids ventured inland and found some empty turtle eggs.
Approximately 100 participated in the morning’s event. Some arriving at 9 a.m. while others arrived after 10 a.m. The event lasted until 11 a.m.