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River Health

Fox River Wisconsin

Biotic Integrity River Sites

Currently, 108 sites are sampled every 5 years by the WDNR Water Quality Program for nonwadeable macroinvertebrate biologic integrity. This study provides statewide coverage of nonwadeable biological integrity to complement previously collected fish IBI data and LTT Rivers chemical data.

Monitoring Objectives

The data from this program is used to assess biologic integrity in nonwadeable rivers as well as the impacts of regulatory or management decisions. Guidance is being developed on integrating parameters to evaluate water condition.

Monitoring Design

This monitoring program is coordinated to sample 108 sites over a 5-year cycle, and it includes a trend component where seven locations are sampled annually. The monitoring locations match those used for fish IBI development and validation because they represent the variety of rivers, and stressors acting upon those rivers, statewide.

Water Quality Indicators

Large River Macroinvertebrate Index of Biological Integrity (Large mIBI) is the primary water quality indicator gathered and analyzed for this study.

Quality Assurance

Sampling Protocols:

  • Introduction to Standardized Collection and Assessment of Macroinvertebrates in Nonwadeable Rivers of Wisconsin, Brian Weigel, June 2011.
  • Weigel, Brian M. and Jeffrey J. Dimick, 2011. Development, validation, and application of a macroinvertebrate based Index of Biotic Integrity for Nonwadeable Rivers of Wisconsin. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc., 2011, 30(3):665–679, 2011 by The North American Benthological Society, DOI: 10.1899/10-161.1

In-field QA Elements

No known in-field quality assurance elements are designed in this study.

Analytical QA Procedures

Macroinvertebrate samples are analyzed at UW Stevens Point Entomology Laboratory, which is certified and one of the leading laboratories in the United States. Taxonomic count data is entered by graduate student staff and reviewed by the UWSP Lab's lead entomologist. The user interface has quality controls embedded in the input features and individual taxonomic species are selected from a set domain. The data is transmitted to the WDNR where validation tools are run against the taxonomic master table (reference table) and the individual counts must match existing taxonomic domain elements.

Data Management

Data are entered into SWIMS by UW Stevens Point Aquatic Biomonitoring Laboratory where component metrics and Large River Macroinvertebrate IBI are stored.


Collected data will be summarized at five year intervals. The first five year cycle of this program will end in 2015; with up to a year wait for results from the UW SP ABL a report on the program should be completed sometime in 2017.

Programmatic Evaluation

Collected data will be summarized at five year intervals. In 2016 the program will be reevaluated to determine rotation and trend sites for the next five year cycle.

Last revised:

Tuesday May 30 2017