What’s Monitored


WAV citizen-stream monitors make visual measurements

Monitors use a checklist to assess a variety of stream characteristics within the stream, along the banks and in the
riparian zone.

Because streams can have either rocky or soft bottom substrate, monitors use separate habitat checklists to assess habitat in the two types of streams. In both cases though, habitat assessment scores will range between 13 and 52. The higher the score, the better value the habitat is assessed to have for macroinvertebrates, fish and wildlife.

Each stream will have a unique habitat assessment value. This value is an important baseline measure for future comparisons of habitat scores for the same site and within the same watershed.

Also, because 10 different aspects of the habitat are assessed (such as bank stability, channel flow status, sediment deposition, riparian vegetation, etc.), by considering the individual aspects' scores, insight can be gained to define connections between land uses and water quality.

This presentation (2 MB pdf) might be useful to learn how to score a site.

Habitat Resources:

Fact Sheet (3.5 MB pdf):

Data Sheets:
Rocky bottom Habitat Assessment (166 K pdf)
Soft bottom Habitat Assessment (220 K pdf)

Tips for trainers teaching about assessing habitat

Habitat Assessment Training Video       approximate run time 7:20

          for Mac users*     - - - - - -    for PC users

*Requires Flash Player. If you do not already have Flash Player, you can download it free from Adobe.


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