California Department of Fish and Wildlife
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Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory

The Aquatic Bioassessment Lab (ABL), part of CDFW's Water Pollution Control Lab, supports the use of biology in California's water quality management and assessment programs.

Main Programmatic Units

  • Laboratory Program
    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
    ABL has active research programs throughout California. Current research efforts are focused on developing Indices of Biotic Integrity (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. ABL provides technical and natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) support for CDFW enforcement staff.