|Level-1: Water chemistry is analyzed, depending on what tests the group has available; basic physical observation, a simplified discharge and four habitat conditions are evaluated. Macroinvertebrates are assessed streamside by estimating abundance and diversity. A slightly simpler version of the survey is also available. Level-1 surveys are good education and screening tools.
Level-2: Water chemistry is analyzed, depending on what tests the group has available; basic physical observation and (including pebble counts), discharge and five habitat conditions are evaluated. Macroinvertebrates are assessed streamside, they are counted and the number of different families are determined to the extent possible. Level-2 surveys are excellent for screening and for determining possible physical and biological disturbances.
Level-3: Water chemistry is analyzed, which at a minimum should include temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen; basic physical observation and assessment (including pebble counts) and discharge (stream profiles are optional); 10 habitat conditions are evaluated; macroinvertebrates are assessed either streamside or in a laboratory environment, they are counted or sub-sampled and family-level identification is completed. Level-3 surveys are modified from the US EPA’s RBPs.
Summary data sheets make it easier to file/store, share and QA data. SOS developed spreadsheets for each level and encourages volunteer monitors to take advantage of these tools (Level-1: Level-2: Level-3). Note: Word document versions are available upon request.