Benthic Testing

Benthic Monitoring is organized through the District of Muskoka in conjunction with the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network Protocol (OBBN) at the Dorset Environmental Science Centre.


The term benthic simply means "on the bottom". Macroinvertebrates are small bugs living on the bottom of a waterbody, visible to the naked eye. By collecting, studying, and monitoring these small creatures over a period of time, a better understanding can be established as to the health of the water. Over time, these "indicator species" can show if there are pollutants or stressors in the water if they become absent or their numbers decrease. Some bugs are more tolerant to pollutants while others are not. 


On Ril Lake, there are 3 established reference sites. The sites are tested on a rotating annual basis to collect data to give us an idea of which species we have and by their numbers indicate our lake's health.