The recent fish kill in Swan Creek that left tens of thousands of dead fish in its wake was a visible and stark reminder of what can happen to area streams and rivers, and how fragile those eco-systems can be. It is also one of the reasons why hundreds of area high school and junior high students take to the water in waders every year to take measure of the water quality of those rivers.
This year's annual Student Watershed Watch was held at the University of Toledo Friday where students from numerous school districts came together to compare notes on the results of their field work which was performed in October.
Matt Horvat, who coordinates the annual event for the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments says the data is used to gauge the relative trends on water conditions and to get a snapshot on the status of the waterways and whether they are getting better or worse. The student presentations measured numerous tributaries in the Maumee and Ottawa River watersheds. Of significance were the findings on Swan Creek where a fishkill happened in August and investigators have yet to determine a cause. As many as 60-thousand fish are believed to have been killed during a two or three day period in August.
Students from Bowsher and Scott high schools say they found significant decreases in numerous species of fish comapred to previous years.