Protocol Comparison Project

Project Description

PNAMP's first work related to habitat methods was the Protocol Comparison Project. The goal of the PNAMP Protocol Comparison Project was to expand on previous work on defining acceptable levels of variability within stream habitat protocols. An evaluation was conducted on the correlation between attributes measured by different monitoring programs and more intensive ground measurements of the same attributes (i.e., the "truth").

Next Steps

PNAMP's goal for this topic is to seek expert opinion as to what should be next steps for habitat methods work - i.e., what needs exist, if any, for research or review of habitat methods, what can we do to advance the concept of using comparable methods? From the PNAMP Steering Committee perspective, there is strong interest in standardization where possible, development of documented crosswalks where feasible and desire to understand expert opinion about needs. Some partners have a strong interest in being able to point to a list of recommended methods for use by their project sponsors. PNAMP hosted a Habitat Methods workshop in December of 2008 to address the questions. Workshop participants were asked to participate in a series of brief segments on a number of important topics related to habitat monitoring methods with the intent to identify needs and priorities for follow-up actions. Some potential next steps identified in this workshop were:

  • Write short summary of recommendations from current findings (from Protocol Comparison Project) with a focus on results that can be used right now
  • Establish collaborative workgroup to define what a "good protocol" is, establish standards
  • Repeat Protocol Comparison Project in different geographic location (west side of the Cascades)
  • Evaluate pre and post stream restoration project similar to Protocol Comparison Project and use ground based and terrestrial LiDAR in both years to demonstrate change over time
  • Develop more detail on methods for specific metrics: goal is to improve precision, accuracy, consistency; still need to determine how to decide priorities
  • Define core indicators to answer habitat condition management questions for long term decision making.
  • Explore methods for non-wadeable rivers
  • Explore integration of remote sensing with existing monitoring

Project Team


New Publication

April 2, 2011 - 9:53am

The first peer-reviewed product from the PNAMP John Day Protocol Comparison Test project has been published: "The Role of Observer Variation in Determining Rosgen Stream Types in Northeastern Oregon Mountain Streams" (Roper et al. 2008).

New Paper from the Protocol Comparison Project

April 2, 2011 - 9:52am

"A Comparison of the Performance and Compatibility of Protocols Used by Seven Monitoring Groups to Measure Stream Habitat in the Pacific Northwest" (Roper et al. 2010) has been published. This paper suggests minimally acceptable criteria that monitoring programs should have to meet when conducting stream evaluations. The benefits of such criteria should be integration of stream habitat data resources so as to increase statistical power, improve trend detection, and reduce total cost of aquatic monitoring programs.