Advanced SOPs

Described here are the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for completing an advanced biosurvey.  These SOPs are designed and intended for the assessment of wadeable streams; they consist of three basic elements: (1) water chemistry analysis; (2) physical and habitat evaluations mostly by observations using the examples described on the survey data sheet; and (3) the collection and assessment of the benthic community

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 any disturbance that may be caused when walking in the stream.


Reach delineation





Water chemistry analysis

Physical evaluation





Macroinvertebrate collections

Habitat assessment





Macroinvertebrate sorting and counting

Pebble counts





Evaluating biological integrity

Discharge measurement





Additional procedures



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.   The questions you ask, the methods you choose, and the way the data is analyzed and checked should be written into your study design. Your monitoring is much more likely to be successful and sustainable with the right plan.  Click-here to learn more about quality assurance project plans. 

 Click-Here to download the advanced SOPs