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Another successful Winter Fest has come and gone. If you missed it, too bad but you will have to wait another year!
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"Save Our Stream Day"

Last Oct. 6th, the students from the 6th, 7th and 8th grades from the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Education School did a 'Stream Search' to determine the approximate health of the Rogue River. The school is located in the community of Belmont, about a third of a mile from the banks of the Rogue which is a noted trout stream.

Said student Abe M., "Mrs. Sochacki begin talking to us abut what we were going to do which was to see how many different kinds of invertebrates we could find which would help us determine the health of the river. The water looked cold as it rushed past the rocks of varying sizes. I jumped in and felt the cold water rush around me."

Said student Emily R.," Once we arrived at the stream, we dropped all of our supplies and equipment. I grabbed my gardening gloves and put them on so that whatever I touched would be on them and not me. Then we took off our shoes and put on our waders. I waited for a few people to change and then I carefully slid into the water and waded  out into the stream."

Exclaimed student Grace C,."I saw crowds of crayfish sitting in between rocks, heard the water rushing and birds singing. I touched the Dobsonfly, which felt really weird, and the freezing Rogue River. When I went into the river with my waders on, it felt like my calves and legs were getting constricted higher and higher up my legs (depending on how deep it was). The pressure of the water felt really hard and it felt like your feet had no gravity because when you lifted your foot it felt like you could do the Moon Walk."

Then student Danielle P. added, "I grabbed a long D-net and my partner and I traveled deeper into the murky water looking for water creatures. WOW! It seemed as if everywhere you stepped a crayfish would scuttle away. My partner held the D-net at the rocky river bottom and I went up stream to hopefully stir up something. When I got about 10 feet from my partner, I let my feet do the work. As I shuffled my feet in the rocks and mud, a huge murky cloud of mud was formed from my feet and it was carried down to my partners net."

Said student Maddie L.,"While on our invertebrate count, we collected roughly 50 crayfish, 30 Skud, one Fishfly Larva, one Leech, twenty Stonefly, one Damselfly, three Water Penny and five Riffle Beetles.
I think that people can better care for the river so it remains as clear and clean as this for the future. They can do this by not littering and developing an awareness of what you do in the community and how it affects everything."

Concluded the students, "We could not have done this without the help of Mr. Stegmier and the Izaak Walton League. We learned that the Rogue River is in pretty good condition and we should keep it that way."