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The Mysterious Creatures in the Clinton River

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

Many people are familiar with legendary creatures like Bigfoot and the Abominable Snowman, made popular again recently by Animal Planet’s TV show “Finding Bigfoot”.  The show involves a team of four researchers known as the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) traveling the world in search of the elusive creature to prove its existence is not a myth.  They even made a stop here in Michigan to search for the creature, but were unable to get a glimpse.  So, their myth continues.

On Saturday, January 18th, the Clinton River Watershed Council is looking for volunteer field researchers to find evidence of another elusive creature.  This creature is not seven feet tall, but a little over seven millimeters long.  It’s not a mammal, but an insect.  It’s not a myth, but indeed very real.  The creature is none other than the elusive Stonefly Nymph.

Stone Fly

Stone Fly

Finding a Stonefly Nymph in your local river or stream indicates its water quality is high, not low, since it is one of the most sensitive of all aquatic macro invertebrates that live in our waters.  Finding a Stonefly Nymph in the Clinton River will help dispel the myth that the Clinton River is still polluted.

These insects are most active and easily found in the month of January when the water temperature is very cold and there is still plenty of leafy debris in the river bottom for Stoneflies to forage on.  This means that this group of volunteer field researchers will have a great deal more success than the BFRO has ever had.

If you are interested in searching for elusive creatures and solving mysteries like the BFRO, but with a higher chance of success, stop on by the Clinton River Watershed Council office, located at 1115 W. Avon Road in Rochester Hills at 10:00 a.m. this Saturday, January 18th.  From there, volunteers will split into teams and travel to 15 sampling locations, including Riverside Park in Auburn Hills.  Volunteers will then meet back at the office for lunch and hot beverages.

Searching for Stone Flies

Searching for Stone Flies

Participants can bring their own waders.  The CRWC will have a few extra pairs on hand for those who choose to get in the water.  They meet regardless of the weather so dress warmly and come help us search for these river critters!

For additional information please contact the CRWC’s Amanda Parka at 248-601-0606 or