Puget Sound Stream Benthos

Annual Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Program, City of Bellingham

City of Bellingham Public Works Natural Resources Division collects annual macroinvertebrate samples in all of the major streams within the City limits. The objective of this ongoing program is to assess aquatic macroinvertebrate populations in order to characterize the health of our urban streams. Long-term and systematic monitoring of macroinvertebrate population trends will provide a measurable indicator of stream and watershed health over time.

Sampling methods follow standard protocols as recommended by the Washington Department of Ecology (Adams 2012) with minor modifications. At each location, a Surber sampler (500 micron mesh, 2ft2 delineation frame) is used to collect four samples: one sample will be collected from each of 4 different riffles, working downstream to upstream, for a total composite sample area of 8 ft2. Samples are then preserved and sent out to a private lab for taxonomic identification. Routine annual sampling began in 2017.

Sara Brooke Benjamin
(360) 778-7969