Physical Stream Assessment: QHEI / HHEI by uBUFU4r


									Physical Stream
   Qualitative Habitat
Evaluation Index (QHEI)
Methodology developed by
OEPA and ODNR working
with USEPA
IDEM QHEI Rankings
>64 – fully supporting of aquatic life
51-64 – partially supporting
< 51 – non-supporting
Primary Headwater
Habitat Evaluation
White River at Southport Road
Cave Creek   (Lake County, Ohio)
Prairie Creek, Vigo Co., IN
Even an undisturbed creek in an
intact forest would not be
classified as quality habitat under
QHEI, simply because fish do not
live in small creeks.
Headwater streams
      Defined by OEPA as having a watershed of less than, or
       equal to 20 mi2
      Comprise ~ 78% of Ohio streams
Primary headwater habitat streams
      Watershed of < 1 mi2
      Well defined bed, bank, and channel
      for HHEI, maximum pool depth of < 40 cm
      OEPA has identified three main categories with a fourth class
       of drainageway
Summary of PHWH
  Stream Classes
Class III PHWH Streams
   Most biologically diverse
   heterogeneous physical habitat
   spring fed, with continuous water flow
   support cool to cold water adapted vertebrates
    and/or benthic macroinvertebrates (3 spp. or
    more of cool water adapted taxa)
Class II PHWH Stream
   Moderate diversity of bentic macroinvertebrates
   tend to support pioneering populations of fish
    or amphibians adapted to intermittent or
    seasonal flow, or other physical limitations
   Tend to have warmer water due to ground water
Class I PHWH Streams
   Ephemeral headwater environments
   Due not prove significant aquatic life function
   Important water quality functions
   No discernable channel
Desktop Study and
Mapping Scale
   NRCS Soil Survey
   USGS 1:24,000 Series Topo Quad
   Air photos (if available)
When to sample
   Any time of the year
   must be conducted when stream is at baseflow
    conditions for time of year
   24-hours after most rainfall events
   Can use 7Q10
  Stream Reach
Delineation and Site
     PWWH Streams and Reaches
   Characterization of a stream “reach”
   stream defined as a surface watercourse having a
    channel with well defined bed and banks, either
    natural or artificial
   stream reach is a continuous 200-foot section
   sampling always starts at the most downstream
Rheocrene Habitats
and Seepage Areas
      General Stream Information
   Site description
   observations
   determine upstream drainage area
   GPS
Determination of channel
   Channelization
     none
     recovered

     recovering

     recent or no recovery
Three metrics are used to develop
HHEI score
1. Composition of substrate
2. Pool depth
3. Bankfull width
Stream Channel Substrate
   Two predominant substrates are required
   Formal pebble count not required but may be
    needed for support
Maximum Pool Depth
   Search the entire 200-foot reach for the deepest
   measure to nearest centimeter
Average Bank Full Width
   Minimum of 3-4 measurements for each reach
Other Parameters
   Riparian zone width
   Flow regime
   Sinuosity
   Stream gradient
First step is to determine which evaluation should
  be performed.
Determined by:
 Size of watershed (< 1 mi2 - HHEI)

 Maximum pool depth (< 40 cm - HHEI)
MIS, Vandalia, IL

To top