Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Stream Ecology Research Group

         The study of stream organisms and their environments is very important and can be an indicator of surrounding environmental conditions.  The stream ecology group at the Illinois Natural History Survey aims to determine the health of the waterway and surrounding areas through past and on-going projects.   The focus of these projects is usually directed at smaller scale wadeable streams, which are easier to assess and are often the first tier of nutrient or pollution introduction to our waterways.  Fish, mussel and macroinvertebrate abundancemand populations along with water  

The INHS has had a research presence in Springfield since the 1990’s, but our current group originated in 2005 when Dr. Hinz initiated several studies in support of the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan.  Since that time, our Stream Ecology Group has worked primarily with the IDNR Watershed Protection Section on a variety of projects that have been supported through competitive research grants from the State Wildlife Grant (SWG) Program. Early research included assessment of coolwater streams, revision of Biologically Significant Stream ratings and development of a rapid assessment method for wadeable stream habitats.  More recently we have worked to update the status of Illinois’ fish species in greatest need of conservation, formalize a hierarchical framework for wadeable stream management and conservation and evaluate the impacts of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to streams in the Kaskaskia River basin.