California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Aquatic Biological Assement

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CDFG's Water Pollution Investigation Center

The Water Pollution Investigation Center (WPIC) will be an electronic and physical facility where CDFG personnel (biologists, environmental specialists, wardens and departmental attorneys), county district attorneys and the public will be able to find all available information produced by CDFG on water pollution incidences throughout California. The information will be available through the following databases located at the Water Pollution Control Laboratory (WPCL):

1. Aquatic Resource Loss - formally called Fish and Wildlife Loss Reports, this database will contain future and past years reports on aquatic fish and invertebrate losses. Using a revised form, field training and aggressive follow-up with wardens, all incidences involving loss of aquatic resources will be added to the database on a regular bases. Annual reports of aquatic resource loss will be available as a press release to newspapers and public and school libraries. The information will also be incorporated into a GIS layer available through the WPIC website.

2. Aquatic Life Toxicity Values for Chemical Products and Compounds - the EPA and CDFG maintain databases that contain toxicological values determined for many chemical products and compounds. This information will be accessed through the WPIC website either through links to various databases or through a centralized database which would need to be constructed.

3. Biological Significance Reports for Chemical Products and Compounds - the Support Water Quality Biologist for the WPCL writes biological significance reports for chemical products and compounds analyzed by the WPCL chemists for a variety of CDFG, county and state pollution investigations. Using information contained in database 2, the standardized reports concludes whether a given pollutant level would be deleterious to aquatic life. Users of the WPIC website could print a biological significance report after typing in a concentration for a given chemical product or compound. (The Support Biologist needs to evaluate information before the report can be officially issued).

4. Physical and Biological Assessment Reports for California Waterbodies - data is being produced throughout California, to describe the physical and biological integrity of various waterbodies. This information is in the form of numeric values for physical habitat and biological assemblages depicting the health of aquatic systems. The CDFG Only numeric values produced using standardized procedures described in the California Stream Bioassessment Procedure and in the future, other CDFG approved protocols will be contained in the database. The information will also be incorporated into a GIS layer so the user of the WPIC website can click on a water body listed for various ecoregions of the state and receive the information.

5. Reference Condition for California Waterbodies - eventually, California will establish biocriteria as described in the Clean Water Act. A biocriteria program will establish numeric values for reference conditions throughout California. Based on specific watersheds or ecoregions, once accepted these values will become regulatory standards for the physical and biological condition of all state waterbodies. The information will also be incorporated into a GIS layer so the user of the WPIC website can click on a water body listed for various ecoregions of the state and receive the information.

The WPIC will be a large project and should be developed in phases. The first phase will consist of the following tasks:

- Build the Aquatic Resource Loss database by imputing data from all the historic Fish and Wildlife Loss reports;
- Evaluate the historic report form and if necessary revise it;
- Develop a training program to teach CDFG personnel to collect data on aquatic recourse losses;
- Conduct training for CDFG personnel;
- Develop standard operating procedures (SOP) for sample collections, reporting and database entry;
- Produce historic summary report and the format for annual reports;
- Assemble the edition of the WPIC website containing information about the site and the Aquatic Resource Loss database; and
- Investigate needs to implement preceding phases which will lead to completion of the WPIC project.