Surface Waters - Field Operations and Methods for Measuring the Ecological Condition of Non-Wadeable Rivers and Streams


The methods and instructions for field operations presented in this manual for surveys of non-wadeable streams and rivers were developed and tested based on 55 sample sites in the Mid-Atlantic region and 53 sites in an Oregon study during two years of pilot and demonstration projects (1997 and 1998). These projects were conducted under the sponsorship of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its collaborators through the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP). This program focuses on evaluating ecological conditions on regional and national scales. This document describes procedures for collecting data, samples, and information about biotic assemblages, environmental measures, or attributes of indicators of non-wadeable stream ecosystem condition. The procedures presented in this manual were developed based on standard or accepted methods, modified as necessary to adapt them to EMAP sampling requirements. They are intended for use in field studies sponsored by EMAP. In addition to methodology, additional information on data management, safety and health, and other logistical aspects is integrated into the procedures and overall operational scenario. Procedures are described for collecting field measurement data and/or acceptable index samples for several response and stressor indicators, including water chemistry, physical habitat, benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages, aquatic vertebrate assemblages, fish tissue contaminants, periphyton assemblages, and sediment community metabolism. The manual describes field implementation of these methods and the logistical foundation constructed during field projects. Flowcharts and other graphic aids provide overall summaries of specific field activities required to visit a river site and collect data for these indicators. Tables give step-by-step protocol instructions. These figures and tables can be extracted and bound separately to make a convenient quick field reference for field teams. The manual also includes example field data forms for recording measurements and observations made in the field and sample tracking information. Checklists of all supplies and equipment needed for each field task are included to help ensure that these materials are available when required.


216 pages; available for download at the link below.


water sampling, water analysis, methods of analysis, rivers, environmental protection