Our conservation project was to be spent checking moth-catching traps for any the presence of the Gypsy Moth. Gypsy Moths are an invasive species that feed on the foliage of various trees. Over the past several years these moths have been responsible for the defoliation and death of significant levels of a wide variety of trees in the U.S. The traps we were monitoring were put in place as a means of ensuring that Gypsy Moths were not present in parks managed by the Army Corps of Engineers or the surrounding ecosystems. These traps were small green boxes which contained both a pheromone to attract nearby Gypsy Moths, and a sticky glue like substance on the inside to trap the moths once they had entered. Our task was to split into groups of two and travel to several locations where these traps had been placed and check to see if any Gypsy Moths had been captured. If a trap contained a Gypsy Moth, our instructions were to return the trap to the Army Corps of Engineers for further investigation. We were given maps of the areas which we were traveling to, a short instructional packet regarding Gypsy Moths, and several pictures of these moths at various stages of their development. We spent the first half of the day driving to different parks, and hiking to the different locations containing the moth traps. Shortly after 1:00pm, all teams had finished and we were happy to report no presence of the Gypsy Moth in any of the traps.
Being that the day was only half over, we returned to the ACoE equipment storage area where we began assembling “fish-attractors” which were to be used in Lake Sidney Lanier. These devices are “spike” shaped balls, made of 2 foot pieces of PVC which attach to a central ball which has several holes drilled into it. When complete, these attractors will provide hiding places for smaller fish, and give algae and other plant life a place to take hold and grow. After meticulously assembling 30 fish attractors, the teams stacked the assembled attractors in the equipment shelter, took a few pictures, and headed home.
Written by Ryan.