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