• sun setting over the gorge

    New River Gorge

    National River West Virginia

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  • Portions of Rend Trail closed for Bridge Repairs

    Portions of the Rend Trail, formerly known as the Thurmond Minden Trail, will be closed effective immediately due to safety concerns. More »

  • River Detours and Closures at the Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge

    The WV Department of Highways and the Federal Highways Administration is replacing the Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge on Route 41 in the town of Prince. Construction will require temporary full river traffic closures and long term river detours. More »

Benthic macroinvertebrates

Benthic macroinvertebrates are aquatic animals without backbones that are large enough to see without a microscope. They include worms, crustaceans, and immature forms of aquatic insects such as stonefly and mayfly nymphs.

Benthic macroinvertebrates can be important indicators of water quality. Unlike fish, these organisms are not very mobile and are therefore less able to escape the effects of pollution and sedimentation. Many species of mayfly nymphs, caddisfly larvae, and stonefly larvae are not very tolerant of pollution and can only survive in swift, cool, well oxygenated water. Their presence is generally a sign of good water quality. Other pollution intolerant species include hellgrammites, freshwater clams, and water pennies.

Blackfly larvae, midges, leeches, and aquatic worms are somewhat more tolerant of pollution and can be found in both good and poor quality water. If these species are the only ones present, they may be indicators of silty water with low dissolved oxygen.


Did You Know?

smallmouth bass

The New River is a very popular warm water fishery. The West Virginia state record for length of Smallmouth Bass - 25.5 inches and 7.5 lbs - was caught in the New River in 1976.