Water Quality Division
Assessment of Stream Aquatic Communities
An important measure of stream health is its biological community. What type of organisms live there? How diverse is the community? How healthy are the individual organisms? These are important indicators of the overall health of the stream. We collect information on all stages of the food chain in streams, including the algal or periphyton (attached algae) community, fish, and aquatic insects.
Stream aquatic communities are assessed along with stream habitat and stream water quality to determine the stream's overall health.