Standard Operating Procedures
Methods for Conducting Bioassessments in Freshwater Streams and Rivers
Combined Benthic Macroinvertebrates and Algae
- Collection of Field Data for Bioassessments of California Wadeable Streams: Benthic Macroinvertebrates, Algae, and Physical Habitat (May 2016) - These documents are the combination of previous versions of the SOP's for both benthic macroinvertebrate and algae with the addition of the supplemental guidance document. These are the standard procedures designed to support general assessment of the ecological condition of wadeable streams and rivers based on the composition of the benthic macroinvertebrate and benthic algal assemblages. The procedures also produce standardized measurements of instream and riparian habitat and ambient water chemistry to support interpretation of the biological data.
- Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrate Samples & Associated Physical and Chemical Data for Ambient Bioassessments in California (February 2007) - A PDF file that includes procedures for sampling BMI assemblages for ambient bioassessments. This document also contains procedures for measuring instream and riparian habitats and ambient water chemistry associated with BMI samples.
- Note: SWAMP issued two policy memos describing additional details for SWAMP bioassessment methods.
Bioassessment Field Data Sheets with Algae for the SWAMP v2.5 database are available. (updated March 2016)
- Note: In May 2010, SWAMP updated the document about the procedure for sampling stream algae assemblages for ambient bioassessment. There are three main updates to this document: (1) The labels for biomass and taxonomic identification have been updated to include additional information (page 20, figure 6); (2) If presence/absence of a microalgal layer cannot be determined with certainty, the scoring of microalgal thickness is now "UD" (page 39) instead of "Z"; and (3) the bioassessment field data sheets with algae are no longer included in the document. Please download the most recent version of the datasheets.
- Note: The SWAMP Conversion and Data Reporting for Benthic Chlorophyll a, Pheophytin and AFDM_Algae (updated 01/26/12) document is now available.
Methods for Conducting Bioassessments in Freshwater Wetlands
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Collection of Macroinvertebrates, Benthic Algae, and Associated Physical Habitat Data in California Depressional Wetlands – February 2015
A PDF document that includes standard operating procedures (SOP) for sampling the biological, chemical, and physical condition of freshwater wetlands within California. The procedures include detailed instructions on how to sample macroinvertebrate and algae assemblages, water and sediment chemistry, and physical habitat within and adjacent to the wetland
- Wetland Bioassessment Field Data Sheet – February 2015
A PDF containing field data sheets associated with the Collection of Macroinvertebrates, Benthic Algae, and Associated Physical Habitat Data in California Depressional Wetlands.
- Standard Operating Procedures for Laboratory Processing and Identification of Benthic Macroinvertebrates in California (October 2012) – A PDF document that describes the full procedures of SWAMP’s BMI laboratory, the Department of Fish and Wildlife Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory (DFW-ABL), including requirements and recommendations for all laboratories performing SWAMP-comparable BMI taxonomic identifications.
- A presentation on the SWAMP SOP for Benthic Macroinvertebrate Laboratories, presented by Melinda Woodard of the QA Team at the California Aquatic Bioassessment Workgroup (CABW) 19th Annual Meeting (November 8, 2012; 9:00 am), is available for viewing: Video Presentation.
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for External Quality Control of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Taxonomy Data Collected for Stream Bioassessment in California (July 10, 2015)
A PDF document that outlines procedures for external quality control (QC) of benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) taxonomy data generated for SWAMP and participating SWAMP-comparable bioassessment projects. The BMI_QC_Template is populated by the original and the QC Laboratories during the external QC process and used with the BMI QC tool to calculate Measurement Quality Objectives. For information on the tool, please contact SWAMP IQ Center. An SOP for use of the BMI QC tool will soon follow.
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Laboratory Processing, Identification, and Enumeration of Stream Algae (November 2015)
A PDF document that outlines SWAMP procedures for laboratory processing, identification and enumeration of soft-bodied algae and diatoms. This document also describes staff qualifications, species documentation, archiving of samples and slides, quality assurance and quality control procedures, harmonization procedures and data reporting to SWAMP.
Training, Auditing, and Collection Permits
- SWAMP offers training opportunities in bioassessment through the CDFW and Water Boards Training Academy. More information about available courses, calibration exercises, and field audits is available on the Training webpage.