California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory

The mission of the ABL (part of DFG's Water Pollution Control Laboratory)  is to support the use of biology in California's water quality management and assessment programs.

The ABL has four main programmatic units:

Laboratory Program

The ABL's laboratories in Rancho Cordova and Chico provide extensive expertise in freshwater invertebrate taxonomy.

Data Collection

Field sampling protocols include targeted riffle and multiple habitat sampling of macroinvertebrates, fish and algae as well as associated physical habitat and chemical monitoring.

Research Program

The ABL has active research programs throughout California. Current research efforts are focused on developing IBIs for different regions, developing objective reference condition selection methods and establishing quantitative tolerance values.

Bioassessment Enforcement

Benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) data often provide a critical component to enforcement of state water regulations. The ABL provides techical and NRDA support for enforcement branches of OSPR and DFG.