The CERC spent July 10-13, 2023, working for both the Adams County Weed Control and Adams Soil and Water Conservation District. The crew spent the morning digging and bagging Med Sage, a noxious weed. In the afternoons they completed Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas Surveys at Bench Creek, Lick Creek, and near Buck Park Road and completed water quality surveys on the East Fork of the Weiser River, Lick Creek, and the main Weiser River near Council. They also pulled hound's tongue (Cynoglossum officinale) along the East Fork Ditch near Shingle Flat Campground.
Bench Creek Bumble Bee Site Survey:
Forty-seven bumble bees were captured (Table 1) on mostly horsemint (Agastache urticifolia) and purple sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissiumum) (Table 2). At least 7 different bumble bee species were identified by CERC (Black-tailed, central, Fernald Cuckoo, Two-form, White-shouldered, yellow, and yellow head).
Bumble bees were surveyed in this same location in June 2021 and June 2022. In 2021 10 bees were captured (4 fuzzy-horned, 1 indiscriminate cuckoo, 3 two-form, and 2 yellow head) on purple sticky geranium, hound’s tongue, lupine, penstemon, waterleaf species. In 2022 no bumble bees were captured.
Bumble Bee Lick Creek Point and Road Surveys:
Only one bumble bee (two-form) was captured on purple sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissiumum) at the meadow near the beaver analog dams along Lick Creek. Six bumble bees were capture during the Lick Creek Road survey (Table 3). Bees captured included two-form, central, and red-belted and 5 bees were captured on Western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) and 1 on slender cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis).
Incidental Bumble Bees Captured at the Lick Creek Turn Off
Seventeen Bumble Bees were captured on Payette Beardtongue (Penstemon payettensis) at the Lick Creek Road turn off (Table 4). Four different species were captured, according to CERC identification (Red-belted, two-form, white-shouldered, and yellow).
Bumble Bee Point Survey Near Buck Park Road
Fifteen bumble bees were capture during a point survey including two-form, central, and red-belted (Table 5). They were caught on horsemint, Payette penstemon, and snowberry (Table 6).
Lick Creek Water Quality Survey Results
The CERC measured 10 parameters (dissolved oxygen, water temperature, presence of fecal coliform, pH, biological oxygen demand (BOD), temperature change along the stream, total phosphate, nitrates, turbidity, and total dissolved solids) of the water quality to calculate a Water Quality Index (WQI). The WQI for Lick Creek on July 10, 2023, was 94.49 (Table 7), meaning the water quality was “excellent.” The WQI at the same site during the summer of 2022 was 91.7, also an excellent rating.
The CERC also measured water quality by identifying macroinvertebrates present in the stream and calculating the Pollution Tolerance Index (PTI) rating. Most of the macroinvertebrates observed are “intolerant to pollution;” however, since there was not a high diversity of organisms, the PTI was fair (Table 8). The PTI rating the during the summer of 2022 was 15, also a fair rating.
Weiser River Water Quality Measured at the Cuprum/Bear Road Bridge Near Council, Idaho
The WQI rating for the Weiser River Water Quality Measured at the Cuprum/Bear Road Bridge Near Council, Idaho in July 2023, was 93.9, an excellent rating (Table 9). Water was not measure at this site during the summer of 2022, but was measured upriver at Glendale. The WQI rating for Glendale in June 2022 was 92.8 (Excellent). The Pollution Tolerance Index based on the macroinvertebrates found at the bridge near Council was 8 (Poor) (Table 10), whereas it was 17 (Good) at Glendale in June 2022.
Figure 1: White-shouldered Bumble Bee (Bombus appositus)
Figure 2: Two-form Bumble Bee
Figure 3: Central Bumble Bee