Stream Biological Monitoring Program


The Stream Biological Monitoring Program and its resources are largely devoted to TMDL follow-up monitoring, long-term monitoring, and special projects. The program examines the structural attributes of aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblages from targeted monitoring sites throughout most of the state. Samples are collected once per year from 35 to 60 long-term, rotational, and/or special project sites depending on available resources and climatic/hydrological conditions. The majority of the long-term monitoring network sites are also Stream Chemistry Monitoring Program sites. Combining biological and chemical sampling provides a more complete picture of ecological status than either type of information can provide alone. While stream chemistry measurements provide a snap shot of chemical conditions at the moment they are collected, macroinvertebrates (including native mussels) have life spans ranging from weeks to as much as 100 years. The assemblage and structure of the macroinvertebrate community, including freshwater mussels, can provide a time-integrated measure of environmental conditions ranging from months to decades.

Two-hundred sampling stations have been sampled over the course of the last 30 years, with some stations having been sampled annually for the entire period of record. 32 stations have been sampled for 20 or more years and another 74 stations have been sampled between 3 and 19 years. As of 2010 the program's macroinvertebrate database contains 64,723 predominantly genus/species level records (353,283 individual organisms) collected from 200 stream locations. A reference collection containing representative specimens of 534 macroinvertebrate taxa has been assembled over the 30 plus year history of the program. A separate freshwater mussel database contains 13,791 species-level records derived from sampling of nearly 300 monitoring locations, many of which have been sampled multiple times. A reference collection containing representative specimens of 43 freshwater mussel species (of 48 species confirmed in Kansas) has been assembled over the years.


Program Manager:
, Environmental Scientist, 785-291-3676

Program Staff:
, Environmental Scientist, 785-291-3885