USGS - Science for a Changing World

Techniques and Methods 2-A2

Sampling Protocol for Monitoring Abiotic and Biotic Characteristics of Mountain Ponds and Lakes

By Robert L. Hoffman, Torrey J. Tyler, Gary L. Larson, Michael J. Adams, Wendy Wente, and Stephanie Galvan

Prepared in cooperation with the:
North Coast and Cascades Network, National Park Service


This document describes field techniques and procedures used for sampling mountain ponds and lakes. These techniques and procedures will be used primarily to monitor, as part of long-term programs in National Parks and other protected areas, the abiotic and biotic characteristics of naturally occurring permanent montane lentic systems up to 75 ha in surface area. However, the techniques and procedures described herein also can be used to sample temporary or ephemeral montane lentic sites. Each Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) section addresses a specific component of the limnological investigation, and describes in detail field sampling methods pertaining to parameters to be measured for each component.


I. Background and Objectives
II. Sampling Design and Site Selection
III. Samples to be Collected and Timing of Site Visits
IV. Site Access and Crew Safety
SOP 1. Physical Characteristics of Monitoring Sites
SOP 2. Bathymetry, Maximum Depth, Water Level
SOP 3. Water Temperature
SOP 4. Water Clarity
SOP 5. Water Chemistry, Dissolved Organic Carbon, Dissolved Oxygen
SOP 6. Chlorophyll-a Concentration and Periphyton
SOP 7. Zooplankton (Rotifers and Crustaceans)
SOP 8. Aquatic Macroinvertebrates
SOP 9. Aquatic Amphibian Sampling and Surveys
SOP 10. Estimating PAO for Aquatic Amphibian Surveys
SOP 11. Use of Personal Digital Assistants for Aquatic Amphibian Visual Encounter Survey Data Collection
SOP 12. Fish Sampling and Surveys
SOP 13. Data Management
SOP 14. Mountain Ponds and Lakes Database
References Cited
Appendix I. Sampling Equipment
Appendix II. Attributes to be Sampled During Each Sampling Period
Appendix III. Standard Measures and Units
Appendix IV. Sample Volumes
Appendix V. Alternative Aquatic Amphibian Survey SOP for IS Sites
Appendix VI. Field Data Sheets
Appendix VII. Amphibian Survey Data Sheets for Collection of PAO Data With Variable Definitions

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For additional information contact:

Robert L. Hoffman
3200 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
(541) 750-1013
FAX (541) 750-1069

Information and Outreach
(541) 750-1030

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last modified: Friday, December 02 2016, 03:43:12 PM
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