Standard Operating Procedures

Described here are the programs standard operating procedures (SOPs) for completing a 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 habiat evaluations
  3. Assessment of the benthic macroinvertebrate community.

Note: Many of the links below are or include portable document files.

SOP Resources

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Kick-Net
    Many professional and volunteer monitoring programs throughout the United States use a rectangular style kick-net. The reasons are simple; it is easy to use and versatile.
  4. Collecting macroinvertebrates from low-gradient streams
    The procedures described here are mostly for advanced volunteer monitors; however level-one streamside procedures can be modified if collections from low-gradient (muddy bottom) streams are necessary.
  5. Lab sub-sampling of macroinvertebrates
    Includes links to lab-style ID-sheet and labels
  6. Watershed Assessment Branch modified SOPs for volunteer water quality sample collection
    This document describes the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for water quality sample collection. The focus of this document is volunteers but it is applicable for any third party water quality data colleciton.
  7. Pebble count collection procedures
    The composition of the streambed and banks is an important facet of stream character, influencing channel form and hydraulics, erosion rates, sediment supply, and other parameters.
  8. Projects and Reports
    Listed here are select projects and reports where WV Save Our Streams Program played the lead or active role.
  9. Quality assurance and quality control (QAQC) manual
    The purpose of the program’s QAQC manual is to provide the background and the basic structure and organization of the SOS Program.
  10. Recommended biosurvey equipment
    Most of the equipment listed in table one is provided at no charge to volunteer monitoring groups who complete a stream monitoring certification workshop and agree to an MOU.
  11. The stream reach
    The typical stream reach has riffles, pools and runs and should be perennial. The X-site (X) is the furthest downstream location, it is usually where the latitude and longitude readings are taken.
  12. USEPA's Rapid Bioassessment Protocols
  13. WVDEP's Watershed Assessment Branch SOPs
  14. Cacapon Institute's - Introduction to Stream Sampling
  15. Field and laboratory methods for low-gradient stream evaluations
    Mid-Atlantic Coastal Streams Workgroup
  16. Nonpoint Source Program’s – Streambank monitoring protocols
  17. Simple procedures for monitoring macroinvertebrates
    Based upon the IWLA's stream study
  18. US EPA's Volunteer Monitoring: A Methods Manual
    USEPA's Volunteer Monitoring: A Methods Manual was written to provide a better understanding of the concepts and procedures needed to evaluate the conditions of streams and rivers
  19. WV Save Our Streams SOPs slide show

Note About Scientific Collection Permits

If your organization decides to complete independent surveys that includes aquatic collections, you must apply for and receive a Scientific Collection Permit from the WVDNR.