We evaluated the potential loss of target benthic macroinvertebrates from coarse-mesh field wash down of samples through a 1.18-mm mesh sieve nested on a 0.60-mm mesh sieve. Visible target organisms (midges, mayflies, and fingernail clams) in the 1.18-mm mesh sieve were removed from the sample and enumerated in the field. The entire contents of both sieves were preserved for subsequent laboratory enumeration under 4X magnification. Percent recoveries from each treatment were based on total intact organisms found in all sieves. Percent recovery for fingernail clams found in the field (31%) was lower than for mayflies (79%) and midges (88%). Laboratory enumeration of organisms retained by the 1.18-mm sieve yielded additional fingernail clams (to total 74% recovered in the field and lab), mayflies (to total 89%), and midges (to total 91%). If the 1.18-mm sieve is used alone in the field, it is adequate to monitor mayflies, midges >1 cm, and adult fingernail clams greater than or equal to 5.0 mm shell length.
Additional publication details
Recovery of macroinvertebrates by screening in the field: a comparison between coarse (1.18 mm) and fine (0.60 mm) mesh sieves