A beautiful summer day in August 2011 lead to the creation of PPCS – Periwinkle Preservation & Conservation Society. As a group of friends enjoyed the warmth of the sun and the cool water on their feet, they noticed interesting bugs crawling in the water, masked in coverings of pebbles or sticks. We wanted to know more about these underwater wonders and their odd beauty. We wanted to make sure their habitat remained a safe environment for generations to come. Thus, a society of friends was born out of a concern about these small miracles. We invite you to support our cause and follow our progression of the Periwinkle.
About the bug: These small creatures are the larvae of the Caddisfly and are most commonly referred to as Periwinkles in Northwestern US. The Periwinkles of the Little North Fork River of the Santiam are case-making caddis flies. They build a case of silk, which holds together substrate materials such as small fragments of rock, sand, small pieces of twig or aquatic plants. These cases are open at both ends allowing oxygenated water to flow through the cases and over their gills.
The larvae enter a pupa stage for weeks or months after they mature but before they emerge from the water. Once the water cools in the fall, the mature Caddisfly emerges from the water, shedding their intricate case, to look for a mate. Their life span above the water is anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks and up to 2 months. Their sole purpose is to mate and lay eggs before their life cycle ends. Eggs hatch in as little as 3 weeks and the cycle begins again. Most lifecycles are completed in a single year.
The Northwest Rivers come to life in the fall as the Periwinkles emerge or “hatch” synchronously en masse. This emergence pattern ensures the Caddisfly will successful find a mate among the masses. The mass hatches bring Salmon and Trout to the service to feed on the abundant buffet fueling them with energy and nutrients. The site of fish rising, bring the anglers and their artificial caddis flies for a day of catch and release in natures most beautiful places, the rivers of the great Northwest.
Subscribe to our blog to follow our Periwinkle ventures and our quest to promote the small wonder of these amazing bugs. It is a journey that has brought the founding members great joy and memorable moments as we unite annually for the cause.