Wyoming is home to unique and spectacular rivers. Our state contains the headwaters for the Missouri, Columbia, and Colorado River Basins. These rivers provide habitat for about 59 species of fish. What is less known is that these rivers are also home to thousands of species of aquatic invertebrates. Many fish rely on aquatic invertebrates as the main component of their diet, for at least part of their lives. Birds, amphibians and mammals also eat insects that emerge from streams. Additionally, aquatic invertebrates are vital in controlling algal growth.
This guide, available in our web store will introduce you to the common invertebrates (mainly insects) living in Wyoming’s streams. The key will help you identify insects and other invertebrates to the major group that they belong to and you can flip to the appropriate section to identify the insects using the photos and characteristics provided. To help anglers, we also illustrate a few flies that imitate each insect order as well as adult emergence charts.
Wyoming's Stream Macroinvertebrates provide an excellent opportunity to engage K-12 students, after school programs, homeschoolers, scouts, and civic groups in science. Catching and identifying a stream critter will inspire wonder and an appreciation of the diversity that lies in our Wyoming backyard.
We have provided a few lesson plans for you to use with your students or group. Please let us know how the plans worked and ways in which we can improve upon them.
We also provide a short list of additional websites that you may find useful.
The Following Organizations & Fly Shops Provided Invaluable Financial Support