Rio Chama Citizen Science Bug Collection


Citizen Scientists Wanted! Help us improve water quality on the Rio Chama!

Since 2020, New Mexico Wild has been coordinating a community science project in the Wild & Scenic reach of the Rio Chama. Volunteers collect water and insect samples during float trips to study aquatic insects, which are sensitive to changes in water quality and serve as great indicators of watershed health.

With repairs at El Vado Dam changing water flows, now is a crucial time to gather data on how these changes affect the ecosystem. From 2020-2022, we observed reductions in aquatic insect quantity and diversity, but initial results from 2023 suggest a potential rebound.

More data is needed to better understand the connections between insect populations, flow regimes, and water quality. If you plan to float the Rio Chama this summer and would like to volunteer, contact to learn more and sign up!