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Quinn, J.W. 1994. Creation and assessment of an index of biotic integrity for coldwater, southeastern Minnesota streams. Final report submitted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Unpaged.


Based upon fish collections from 50 stream locations (40 coldwater sites) in southeastern Minnesota, a coldwater Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) was developed to assess water and habitat quality within streams of this region. Eight fish community characteristics or metrics were determined to be useful in assessing water and habitat quality at the sites examined, and were used to determine an IBI score for each stream site. These metrics included: 1) proportion of individuals as trout and sculpin, 2) proportion of individuals as tolerant, 3) proportion of Individuals as Intolerant, 4) proportion of individuals as creek chubs and blacknose dace, 5) proportion of individuals as generalist feeders, 6) proportion of individuals as insectivores, 7) coldwater fish per 150 m, and 8) proportion of individuals with anomalies. Based upon this coldwater IBI, 24 of the coldwater sites examined were rated as "good" or "fair", whereas the remaining 16 coldwater sites were rated as either "poor" or "very poor". No stream site was rated "excellent", although one location was borderline "good/excellent". The coldwater IBI developed during this project appeared to be successful in evaluating stream water and habitat quality at the coldwater sites examined. Further validation, refinement, and expanded use of this index is suggested within coldwater streams in Minnesota to improve its usefulness as a biomonitoring tool within the state.

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