California Department of Fish and Wildlife
The Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory

The Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory

The WPCL’s Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory (ABL) was established in 1993 with a mission to promote the use of biological data in California’s water quality management programs. ABL staff are housed at facilities in Rancho Cordova and Chico. ABL staff have played central roles in developing and maintaining California’s capacity to monitor the health of its freshwater resources, providing ongoing support for CA bioassessment through its scientific research program, field and laboratory operations and enforcement operations.

Field Expertise: ABL field staff are highly experienced and provide a wide range of ecological sampling services. ABL staff have helped develop CA’s standard field sampling protocols for macroinvertebrates, fish and algae as well as associated physical habitat and chemical monitoring. ABL also plays a key role in developing quality assurance/ quality control procedures, and provides training and auditing services.

Bioassessment Research: The ABL’s research program is focused on two areas: 1) the development of standardized tools for assessing stream health from biological community data and 2) gaining better understanding of the ways that various natural and anthropogenic stressors. Current research efforts are focused on developing Indices of Biological Integrity (IBIs) for different regions, developing objective reference condition selection methods and establishing quantitative tolerance values.

Macroinvertebrate Taxonomy: ABL taxonomic staff provide the taxonomic expertise required to support biomonitoring efforts throughout the state, and together have over 60 years of experience in identification of aquatic macroinvertebrates. ABL staff pick a fixed number of invertebrates out of the sample matrix and sort them by taxonomic Order for further identification by ABL taxonomists. After samples are picked, ABL taxonomists identify all organisms to the appropriate taxonomic level defined by the Standard Taxonomic Effort (STE) document.

Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory Page

Contact Information

Dave Crane
Phone: 916-358-2859

Web: Contact Web Editor

Page Last Updated: July 24, 2014