Level-One SOPs

Described here are the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for completing a level-one biosurvey.  These SOPs are designed and intended for the assessment of wadeable streams; they consist of three basic elements: (1) water quality analysis; (2) physical and habitat evaluations mostly by observations using conditions described on the survey data sheet; and (3) the collection and assessment of the benthic macroinvertebrate community.
Prior to your site visit you should prepare for your survey making sure you have all the necessary equipment; the equipment should be in working condition and replaced or repaired if needed.  Check batteries if electronic equipment such as cameras or GPS units are used.  Check the expiration dates of chemicals, make sure all meters all calibrated, all nets are to be secured to their poles and have no tears or holes, and all sample containers are clean and dry.  Become familar with the watershed you are working in.  Review the appropriate topo maps and/or aerial photos prior to the site visit.  Make sure all sites are accessible and that permission to cross private property is acquired prior to your visit.  During the surveys always wear the correct footwear (waders, boots, or closed toed shoes) and cloths for working in and around the stream.  Your footwear should be cleaned prior to visiting the next site to avoid possible transfer of any biological or chemical components.  You should have a thorough knowledge of the risks associated with stream survey work in your area and have a corresponding safety plan to reduce those risks.
The order of the procedures can vary slightly, depending upon the number of volunteers available to perform the survey.  However, water quality analysis and physical evaluations should occur prior to sediment disturbance that may be caused by walking in the stream.  CLICK below to review a section
 Click-Here to download the Level-One SOPs

Before deciding to begin a monitoring and/or restoration project it is very important for you to describe your study design.  Think carefully about the why, what, where, when and how questions, and consider the (QAQC) measures that are necessary to insure accuracy and precision.  Your approach should be similar to the scientific method.  It’s worth taking the time to figure out what you want to do. Your monitoring is much more likely to be successful and sustainable with the right plan. 
Felt glued to the bottom of the wading shoe will improve your traction for walking in the stream; however felt will also easily transfer certain biological components if they are not properly cleaned.  Equipment and wading apparel should be cleaned between uses, especially if multiple streams are visited.  Click-Here to learn more