Stream Salamander Survey, Van Winkle Rd., 9/13/11

Northern Dusky Salamander

photo from

Northern Two-lined Salamander

Green Frog juvenile photo by Dave Rosgen

On Tuesday afternoon, 9/13/11, I surveyed the brooks that run between E. Shore Rd. and Van Winkle Rd. in Morris for salamanders and other amphibians. In most years these streams can be classified as seasonal since they largely dry-up during the months of July and August. Not this year! Even though dry conditions for awhile in July and early August reduced water flows in these streams to a trickle, they still held enough water to support amphibians and aquatic macroinvertebrates. The double whammy of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in the past 2 weeks sent torrents of water down these streams. The embankments were scoured-out in several places and at least 25 trees were undermined to the point of falling across or along the stream channels. On 9/13 these streams continued to hold and flow a decent amount of water. Walking along them proved to be difficult, or even impossible, in a few places due to the downed trees and shrubs. Despite this, I was able to survey quite a good amount of habitat between the 2 roads. The smaller feeder streams didn't host any amphibians except Green Frogs, but the main stream really produced. I found 21 Northern Dusky Salamanders, 1 Northern Two-lined Salamander, 31 Green Frogs, 2 Wood Frogs, 2 Gray Treefrogs, and 1 Northern Spring Peeper in the 1/4 mile between the 2 roads. I only found Green Frogs in the short section of this stream between Van Winkle Rd. and Bantam Lake. Of the Dusky Salamanders, 19 were adults and 2 were juveniles. I didn't see any larvae. The N. Two-lined Salamander was an adult. All of the frogs were juveniles. It is also worthwhile to note that the water was crystal clear and quite cool. Sediment loads appeared to be less than had been present in previous visits this year and in the past 5 years. That boads well for amphibians.

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