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Twin Lakes and Caddisfly Discoveries

We are avid hikers and like to enjoy what our backyard has to offer; the Monashees, so accessible here in the North Okanagan, and only a short drive from our home town Vernon. With white capped mountains peeking through the valley it is near impossible to not be drawn to this wild place.

Early this season we hiked up to Twin Lakes, two small glacier fed, crystal clear lakes high up in the alpine. We traveled through a steep trail in the trees, meadows of yellow glacier lilies and some early season snow just before arriving to the charming little lakes. Upon arriving we encountered another young couple enjoying their lunch at a rock table with built up rock chairs put together by hikers over the years. They really took advantage of this beautiful spot by setting up camp on the lake side. We too were getting hungry after gaining some elevation and decided to pull over and set up our lunch on the lake shore.

We found a small rock island where we snacked on some crackers, cheese and fruit. Looking down at the clear water we spotted some small sand speckled critters moving slowly on the shallow lake bottom. I recognized these critters but from a very different context. I recalled watching a video of an exhibition where an artist had similar critters known as the caddisfly on display in a tank. Instead of placing sand and pebbles in the tank, the artist used jewels and glittery stones. Like the caddisfly we spotted up at Twin Lakes, these critters two were also speckled with debris but with jewels and glitter. The caddisfly starts out as marine larvae who needs to protect themselves before they transform into a terrestrial fly. They do so by gathering little pieces of sand, pebbles, organic matter and what ever they can find while wandering about the lake bottom. Using these materials they build a casing aka their home which protects them from predators until their next stage in life.

After doing some reading on the critters fascinated by their architectural abilities I came across a paper; Are Caddisflies an Ideal Group for the Biological Assessment of Water Quality in Streams by Alain Dohet which states that the majority of caddisflies are highly sensitive to pollution and disturbances in water (508). As members of the BCGA (BC groundwater Association) protecting a clean water resource is foremost in our minds. The caddisfly serves as a symbol and a reminder of the importance of considering our impact on this precious resource. We can help you facilitate water quality sampling and analysis so you can get a clear picture of the state of your own water source.

Are Caddisflies an Ideal Group for the Biological Assessment of Water Quality in Streams. (2002, January 31). Retrieved September 4, 2019, from

Caddisfly artwork:

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