SCCWRP applies bioassessment index to streams statewide

Posted August 7, 2015
The California Stream Condition Index has revealed what portion of wadeable streams in each of six regions in California are in good (green), fair (yellow), poor (orange), and very poor (red) condition. The Central Valley is home to the highest portion of stream miles in poor biological condition, according to the analysis.

A new scoring tool that was developed to assess the biological condition of California’s wadeable streams has been applied for the first time to all wadeable streams statewide, with the results showing that about 44% of California’s 23,877 miles of streams are in good biological condition.

The 2015 Perennial Streams Assessment report, released in June by the State Water Board’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP), marks the most comprehensive assessment of wadeable streams ever conducted in California.

The sweeping assessment was conducted using the California Stream Condition Index (CSCI), a scoring tool released in 2013 by SCCWRP and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The next-generation scoring tool translates complex data about benthic invertebrate communities living in a stream into an overall measure of stream health.

While 44% of stream miles were calculated to be in good biological condition, 34% were in degraded (i.e., poor or very poor) condition and 22% were in fair condition.

For more information, contact Dr. Eric Stein.

More news related to: Bioassessment, Indices of Biotic Integrity, Regional Monitoring