ODFW Aquatic Inventories Project

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Research Objectives


The Aquatic Inventory Project is designed to provide quantitative information on habitat condition for streams throughout Oregon.  This information is used to provide basic information for biologists and land managers, to establish monitoring programs, and to direct or focus habitat restoration efforts.

Development of an Aquatic Inventory Project began within the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) in 1989 with sponsorship by the Restoration and Enhancement Program.  Drafting of stream survey methods and implementation of field work began in 1990.  The conceptual background for this work came from the experience of project staff and from interactions with Oregon State University, forest industry, and USFS PNW research scientists (Bisson et al. 1982, Grant 1986, Everest et al. 1987, Hankin and Reeves 1988, Moore and Gregory 1989, and Gregory et al. 1991).  Significant contributions and review of these methods were provided by ODFW research staff, and from consultation with ODFW and United States Forest Service (USFS) biologists working on similar programs.  Members of the Umpqua Basin Fisheries Restoration Initiative and the Oregon Forest Industry Council have provided additional review and consultation.

This methodology was designed to be compatible with other stream habitat inventory and classification systems (i.e., Rosgen 1985, Frissell et al. 1986, Cupp 1989, Ralph 1989, USFS Region 6 Level II Inventory 1992, and Hawkins et al. 1993).  This compatibility is achieved by systematically identifying and quantifying valley and stream geomorphic features.  The resulting matrix of measurements and spatial relationships can then be generalized into frequently occurring valley and channel types or translated into the nomenclature of a particular system.  For example, information summarized at the reach level (valley width, channel type, slope, terrace height and width, sinuosity, width, depth, substrate, eroding banks, etc.) can be used to characterize the stream into one of the types described by Rosgen (1985) or to match the parameters collected in other quantitative (USFS) or historic (U.S. Bureau of Fisheries) surveys.

The process of conducting a stream survey involves collection of general information from maps and other sources and the direct observation of stream characteristics in the field.  This information is both collected and analyzed based on a hierarchical system of regions, basins, streams, reaches, and habitat units.  Supervisors are responsible for collecting the general information on regions and basins and for directing the activities of the survey crews.  Survey teams will collect field data based on stream, reach, and channel unit characteristics.  Region and basin data will primarily come from ODFW-EPA region and sub region classifications, and from map analysis.

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