Water: Monitoring & Assessment
Biological assessments are evaluations of the condition of waterbodies using surveys and other direct measurements of resident biological organisms (macroinvertebrates, fish, and plants). Biological assessment results are used to answer the question of whether waterbodies support survival and reproduction of desirable fish, shellfish, and other aquatic species -- in other words, if the waterbodies meet their designated aquatic life uses.
The following documents provide information on biological assessment methods and the status of biological assessment programs in the U.S.
Lake and Reservoir Bioassessment and Biocriteria, Technical Guidance Document, August 1998
This document provides managers and field biologists with functional methods and approaches for bioassessment and biocriteria in lakes and reservoirs.
Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Wadeable Streams and Rivers: Periphyton, Benthic Macroinvertebrates, and Fish, 2nd edition
This document describes refined and revised methods for conducting cost-effective biological assessments of streams and small rivers. It focuses on periphyton, benthic macroinvertebrates and fish assemblages, and on assessing the quality of the physical habitat.
2002 Summary of Biological Assessment Programs and Biocriteria Development, Streams and Wadeable Rivers:
This site provides updated information on the status of bioassessment programs in states, tribes, territories, and interstate commissions.
Stressor Identification Guidance
This guidance leads water resource managers through a rigorous process to identify stressors that cause biological impairment in aquatic ecosystems and to assemble cogent scientific evidence that supports conclusions about potential causes.
Estuaries and Coastal Marine Waters Bioassessment and Biocriteria Technical Guidance
This technical guidance provides an extensive collection of methods and protocols for conducting bioassessments in estuarine and coastal marine waters and the procedures for deriving biocriteria from the results.
Links to other documents and websites: