Discovering Didymo

by | Jun 17, 2016 | news | 0 comments

Discovering Didymo

Are you interested in helping solve the mysteries surrounding the infamous Didymosphenia geminata, while you are out and about fishing, hiking, and exploring? If you answered yes, this project is for you.

Didymosphenia geminata, otherwise known as “Didymo”, or, “that gross wet toilet paper stuff”, or “rock snot”, is an aquatic algae which grows on the stream bottom, and is a common sight in many rivers and streams in North America. Even though this mat-forming algae is widespread and fairly well known, there is much to learn about its distribution, abundance, and the cause, location, and timing of blooms, which can often result in large mats of algae covering rocks and gravel substrates.

Discovering Didymo Distribution (D3) is a citizen science initiative led by Trout Unlimited Canada and the University of Calgary, with funding from the Alberta Conservation Association. The project seeks to expand on the growing knowledge on Didymo distribution, and is a joint effort with our colleagues at Trout Unlimited in the U.S. with support from the University of North Carolina. This project represents an opportunity for anglers, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts to collect, document, and discover the distribution of the algae species across North America using an iNaturalist app, which they can use on their phone, tablet, or PC, and the sampling kits that will be provided during training.

In the first year of the project, Alberta will serve as the pilot region in Canada to gauge the uptake of the program, and evaluate it’s success. We need your help to Discover Didymo Distribution!

Discovering Didymo Distribution Training Events
If you are interested in getting involved to help Discover Didymo Distribution, please join us at one of our training sessions (details below). We will cover what a sampling kit includes, how to collect a sample, how to return a sample, and how to use the iNaturalist app. Once you are armed with this information and have received your sampling kit, you’ll be ready to set out on your quest for knowledge.

Training Events: Meeting Locations For All Events
Calgary: June 21st, 7pm – 830pm, Mallard Point, Fish Creek Provincial Park
Red Deer: July 12th, 6pm – 730pm, Three Mile Bend Recreation Area
Lethbridge: July 19th, 6pm -730pm, Indian Battle Park
Calgary: July 25th, 7pm – 830pm, Votier’s Flats, Fish Creek Provincial Park
Edmonton: July 28th, 7pm – 830pm, Fort Edmonton Park Road (under Whitemud Bridge)

Please register for an event in your area, by visiting the Eventbrite page.

Trout Unlimited Canada is a nonprofit, charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.