the lower fox river watershed monitoring program    
University of Wisconsin Green Bay
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Riparian Habitat

Based on the EPA’s Stream Habitat Walk, the Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Program employs an easy-to-use approach for identifying the elements of a stream's habitat. Primarily a qualitative visual assessment, the habitat walk identifies potential water quality issues and allows observers to quickly become acquainted with their stream.

For the habitat walk, the stream is evaluated by its physical in-stream characteristics, local watershed integrity, visual biological observations, and an optional macroinvertebrate survey. Assessed in-stream characteristics include substrate composition, water appearance and odor, channel morphology, vegetation, and bank conditions. The local watershed is examined for types of land use present, and whether particular uses are impacting the stream water quality. Biological characterization includes the stream’s wildlife, fish, aquatic plants, and algae growth. Finally, an optional macroinvertebrate survey identifies basic invertebrates present and their relative abundance.