What Else Lives In The Stream?
There's a whole world of other creatures living in the Bilston Creek. Some of them are the food for the Cutthroat Trout. All of them fit into some ecological niche of life in the stream. A few we have found are;
|Scud: These are a small crustacean, about 10 mm in length. They are eaten in large amounts by trout. Closely resembling fleas they will hop or jump if removed from the water. Scuds can also be intermediate hosts for tapeworms and other parasites.
|Clams: Fresh water clams are found in abundance in some areas of the stream. Rarely larger than 0.5 cm across the shell they are found in fine clean gravel. Though not generally eaten by fish they filter out algae, keeping the water clear.
|Crayfish: Found scavenging along the bottom and under rocks and debris crayfish will grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in length. After hatching the young will cling to the parent who protects them for some time. These young ones are readily eaten by trout.
|Mayflies: Large numbers of mayflies are found all along the stream but especially in ponds and slow moving sections. The nymths are an important food item.
|Caddisfly: Often seen as the larvae stage when they are inside a tube made of tiny grains of sand or bits of twigs with just the head and some legs sticking out. Fish will eat large numbers of these as they are hatching from the pupa stage to the adult.
|Dragonfly: The dragonfly is seen as both the adult, flying around catching mosquitoes and other insects, and as a nympth, which eats other small insects as well as small fish.
|Water Beetles: There are a large variety of water beetles in our stream. The one shown here is a Giant Water Beetle, which we have found up to 3 cm in length. The larvae may be eaten by trout, but the larger beetles will eat small fish.