Stream assessment tool under development to score physical habitat condition

Posted February 2, 2018

SCCWRP and its partners have developed a preliminary version of a stream assessment tool that can quantitatively score the condition of physical habitat using field data collected during routine monitoring of wadeable streams.

The physical habitat index, which underwent an initial round of testing by end users in fall 2017, is intended to make better use of the physical habitat data that stream managers already are collecting. It is scheduled to be finalized in summer 2018.

The condition of a stream’s physical habitat can have a significant influence on its overall ecological condition, but without a quantitative scoring tool, it has been difficult to make effective use of existing physical habitat data.

Quantitative assessments of physical habitat condition will help inform stream causal assessments, restoration monitoring and other areas.

The physical habitat index will complement the California Stream Condition Index, which was co-developed by SCCWRP in 2015 to quantitatively score stream health by evaluating the condition of bottom-dwelling invertebrates in streambeds.

More news related to: Bioassessment, Indices of Biotic Integrity