Bug Collecting with the Stormwater Management Division

bug in hand
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Published March 3, 2023

Caitlin Gatlin | Communications & Marketing Manager

The City of Lawton's Stormwater Management Division's responsibility is to improve the quality of surface water within the community. On Tuesday, they did that through a bug collection at East Cache Creek.

"A lot of people tell us, ‘There’s nothing in that creek,’" said Michael Hawkins, Associate Engineer for the City's Stormwater Division. "Yes there is. There is a lot of stuff in here.”

The health of a creek is determined by the species found on adventures like this particular bug collection. What is collected speaks volumes about the creek. Some species are very sensitive to pollution, sediment and habitat, so their survival or absence is very telling.

"Bugs will tell us water quality for several months up to a year," said Kim Shaw, a Quality Assurance Officer with Blue Thumb. "That is their life cycle stage, in the water at their larval stage. Fish can tell us a lot longer story, up to 20 or 30 years.”

The water in East Cache Creek ends up being someone’s drinking water, so we want to make sure it’s as healthy as it can be. Hawkins says this has been a healthy stream & that’s proven through their bi-annual fish collection.

"We take a 20 foot seine net, sweep it through the water and there will be 200 fish in there," said Hawkins."So it’s a very healthy stream.”

The samples taken from this collection will be “picked” in the next few months. That’s when the Stormwater Team looks through the samples, trying to find quality, quantity & diversity of the bugs that were collected. Click here to learn about the bug picking process. We won’t receive an updated health report of East Cache Creek until later this year.

For more information, contact the City’s Stormwater Division at (580) 581-3478.


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City of Lawton
2100 SW 6th Street
Lawton, OK73501
United States