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Training, Field QA, and Collection Permit

College of Bioassessment

waterboards training academyca fish and wildlifeThe College of Bioassessment (COB) was developed by CDFW and the State Board’s Training Academy to provide students with a background on stream ecology, sampling design and data analysis based on SWAMP Bioassessment Procedure. Water resource professionals involved with the implementation and/or administration of bioassessment projects as well as citizen scientists will benefit from the four courses offered through the COB.

Course 1 is an introduction to all aspects of bioassessment and although some students gain enough knowledge in the first course to make them more confident at writing permits, managing contracts and dealing with environmental review, for a complete understanding of bioassessment, all four courses should be completed.  Besides attending all four courses, any participant wanting to conduct bioassessment should participate in annual inter-calibration exercises and field audits (described in the sections below). Graduates of the COB can keep up with projects and techniques involving bioassessment by attending the annual CABW meeting.

Established bioassessment field and laboratory professionals are encouraged to attend COB courses to insure that they are up to date with procedures and data analysis but they will have the opportunity to petition to certify completion of a COB course based on their work experience.

Annual Pre-season Calibration and Training Registration for Calibration Exercises

During this one day exercise, multiple bioassessment crews assemble at one location to discuss invertebrate and algae sampling and processing procedures and to perform several PHAB exercises on a shortened stream reach. After a brief pre-exercise discussion of event activities, the crews are encouraged to present questions or concerns from the previous year’s sampling for group discussion. Invertebrate and algae sampling methods are discussed and demonstrated and then the crews perform the PHAB exercises separately with minimal interaction recording the data on hand written forms specially designed for the exercise. After the crews complete the exercise the groups get together to discuss the results and present any questions or concerns that came up while performing the exercise.

  • Request for Participation in the Calibration Exercise (TBA)

Field Audits

Field audits are conducted in the field setting at actual sites being surveyed by experienced bioassessment crews. This activity is time intensive since it requires one CDFW auditor to work with one crew at a time and would require travel and a full day to complete. At least one and possibly two audits; one in the beginning of the field season and one mid-season, will be conducted for each crew. Audits are a requirement for any SWAMP bioassessment project but could also be requested by an corporate field crew for internal QA/QC, or could be a requirement for a permit or project that include bioassessments.

  • Request for Field Audit (TBA)

California Aquatic Bioassessment Workgroup (CABW)

The annual CABW meeting educates those unfamiliar with bioassessment on current and planned activities in bioassessment. It is also an opportunity for those active in bioassessment to be updated on current activities and to stay in touch with other people in the bioassessment community. The annual meeting of the California Chapter of the Society for Freshwater Science (CalSFS, or SFS) is included at the end of the CABW meeting.

2018 CABW/SFS Newsletter

2017 CABW/SFS Newsletter

2016 CABW/SFS Newsletter

CABW Files and Presentations from Previous Years

Collection Permit

A Scientific Collecting Permit is required to collect invertebrates for scientific, education, and non-commercial propagation purposes. Information on how to apply for a Scientific Collecting Permit is on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website (access using Internet Explorer 9 currently not supported).

Contact Information

For any questions on the Statewide Bioassessment Program please contact Shuka Rastegarpour by phone at: 916-327-1277 or by email at: shuka.rastegarpour@waterboards.ca.gov.