Whether you’re new to the Leaf Pack Network or just need a refresher, you can follow the instructions in the Leaf Pack Network® Manual to use tree leaves and aquatic insects to determine the health of your stream and understand its ecology. The manual is available in English and Spanish.
Our methods videos are a great way to supplement the material in manual Chapter 2: Monitoring With Leaf Packs. You can bookmark the methods playlist on the Leaf Pack Network YouTube channel or watch the videos below.
Methods Video #1: Preparing Leaf Packs for the Stream
Get out your manual and turn to Chapter 2, page 19 (English) or page 85 (Spanish), and follow along with Leaf Pack Administrator Tara Muenz as she demonstrates how to prepare leaf packs for the stream. NOTE: bags in this example have tags labeled with 20g weight. This was for a special class that we were teaching, but you should use 30 grams per pack as recommended in the manual.
Methods Video #2: Placing the Leaf Packs in the Stream
In this video, we show you one method of placing your packs in a stream and considerations to making sure your packs are placed correctly. Refer to Chapter 2, page 22 (English) or page 88 (Spanish), in the manual and follow along!
Methods Video #3: Collecting Leaf Packs From the Stream
After three to four weeks in the stream, it’s time to retrieve your packs from the stream so you can meet the critters that have been calling them home! In this video, Tara walks you through the steps you’ll find in Chapter 2, page 24 (English) or page 90 (Spanish), in the Leaf Pack Network Manual.
Methods Video #4: Collecting Leaf Packs From the Stream
Now it’s time to remove the leaf packs from the mesh bag and separate the macroinvertebrates from the leaves to prepare for identification. Turn to Chapter 2, page 25 (English) or page 91 (Spanish), in the manual and follow along with Tara.
Methods Video #5: Sorting and Identification
Time to identify who’s been living in your leaf packs and what they can tell you about your stream’s health! In this video, corresponding to Chapter 2, page 26 (English) or page 92 (Spanish), in the manual, Tara highlights some of the supplies that will help you through this process.