At a Glance

Monitoring of aquatic life provided a clearer picture of county-wide stream health, which will inform future water quality improvement decisions and efforts to meet NPDES requirements.

Project Description

At the request of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Biohabitats performed biological monitoring in support of the County’s NPDES requirements. The project involved the collection of macroinvertebrates during a spring sampling period and icthyofauna during a summer sampling period.

The macroinvertebrate sampling, which was conducted at 41 sites randomly located throughout six watersheds within the county, was performed in accordance with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) guidelines. The sampling protocols, also required the team to collect habitat and water chemistry data and perform surveys for herpetofauna.

Ichthyofauna sampling was conducted at 30 randomly selected sites throughout the same six watersheds in which the macroinvertebrate sampling was conducted. Again, sampling was conducted in accordance with MBSS protocols and included the collection of habitat and water chemistry data with a repeat of the herpetofauna sampling.

The information that was collected will be analyzed to provide a score based upon the identified species richness and abundance. The scores will then be compared to the results of previous years’ sampling efforts from the same site to determine if there is an overall improvement or decline in the condition of the  stream.



Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Physiographic Province



Middle Potomac River

Expertise Areas

Conservation, Water


Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection


Montgomery County, Maryland, United States