2020 Benthic Monitoring Update

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FOMR’s benthic monitoring began on schedule in April and then abruptly halted due to COVID-19 disruptions. Our teams pivoted the best we could to complete as many monitoring sites as we could using same-household monitors. We have been getting good practice learning how to use the small-mesh nets (500 microns) which now are required.

Spring Benthic Results

In April, we were able to complete five of our nine sites by using “same household” teams of monitors.  Hopefully, this fall we will be able to complete all nine sites.

Each site monitored receives a “score” – a number between 0 and 12 – from the VA Save Our Streams (SOS) Multimetric Index.  The score is a representation of the suitability of the stream for aquatic life.  It is determined by the number and kind of aquatic critters found in a water sample.

  • An SOS Index score of 9 to 12 = Acceptable ecological condition for aquatic life
  • An SOS Index score of 8 = Ecological condition cannot be determined at this time (Gray Zone)
  • An SOS Index score of 0 to 7 = Unacceptable ecological condition for aquatic life

April’s scores are listed below.  Click on the link beside each score for a graph of the results from 2011 to 2020 for each of  the five sites monitored  in April.

Summerdean Road, Swoope 7  graph of 2011-2020

Dog Back Lane, Swoope 9  graph of 2011-2020

Green Hills Lane, Churchville 11  graph of 2011-2020

Honeysuckle Hill, Middle River Road (near Springhill) 9     graph of 2011-2020

Cline Lane, Laurel Hill 9  graph of 2011-2020


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