EPA-OW: NRSA Inverts 2013 (Wade):  Benthic invertebrate sample collection in small wadeable streams

  • Summary
  • Analytes
  • Revision
  • Data and Sites
Official Method Name
Section 6: Wadeable Streams-Benthic Macroinvertebrates (in National Rivers and Streams Assessment: Field Operations Manual (2013))
Current Revision
WATER  (Waterbody type - Wadeable stream)
Invertebrate Net (w/ handle)
Method Subcategory
Method Source
  National Rivers and Streams Assessment 2013/14: Field Operations Manual–Wadeable
EPA-841-B-12-009 - National Rivers and Streams Assessment: Field Operations Manual (2013)
Brief Method Summary
This method is in USGS BioData as BERW for wadeable, reach-wide benthos.

Collect benthic macroinvertebrate composite samples using a D-frame net with 500 um mesh openings. Take the samples from the sampling stations at the 11 transects equally distributed along the targeted reach. Composite all sample material and field-preserve with about 95% ethanol.
Scope and Application
Methods described in this document are to be used specifically in work relating to the National Rivers and Streams Assessment. This document contains procedures for how to collect benthic macroinvertebrate samples.
Applicable Concentration Range
Completely fill the jar with 95% ethanol (no headspace). It is very important that sufficient ethanol be used, or the organisms will not be properly preserved. Existing water in the jar should not dilute the concentration of ethanol below 70%. Rinse net thoroughly before sampling next location.
Quality Control Requirements
Collect a sample from 1-m downstream of each of the 11 crosssection transects at the assigned sampling station.
Sample Handling
Follow Table 6.3 for the procedure on how to make composite sample. Replace the cap on each jar. Slowly tip the jar to a horizontal position, then gently rotate the jar to mix the preservative. Do not invert or shake the jar. After mixing, seal each jar with plastic tape.
Maximum Holding Time
Relative Cost
Sample Preparation Methods