Credible Data - References

Credible Data is a program that classifies surface water monitoring performed by watershed groups, state agencies, schools, local volunteers and other organizations. Ohio EPA uses the data submitted under the program in ways prescribed by State law.

Level 2 benthic macroinvertebrate study kits

Learning Your Level 2 Benthic Macroinvertebrates

The Division of Surface Water has a few family-level macroinvertebrate study kits to help you attain taxonomic abilities adequate to implement Level 2 benthic macroinvertebrate sampling methods. These study kits contain specimens representing approximately 45 common macroinvertebrate families (orders or classes in some cases) intended to allow you to develop a baseline of knowledge - which should allow you to both pass the Level 2 Qualified Data Collector test and begin successful benthic macroinvertebrate sampling. These study kits are available for a one-month loan period. Significant effort went into preparation of these kits, so we ask that you not borrow one until you are ready to devote some time to learning the taxa and that you are as careful as possible with the specimens to minimize the need for replacement.

Additionally, our strong recommendation is that you begin your own family-level reference collection of benthic macroinvertebrate taxa. To aid you with this we will schedule a day every couple months, as long as interest warrants it, where people can come into our bug lab at the Groveport field office and bring along their reference collection to have trained entomologists confirm the accuracy of your identifications. You should also bring along your taxonomic references (e.g., Bouchard and/or Voshell). The Bouchard "Guide to the Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest" is available for purchase at this University of Minnesota website:

To sign up for borrowing a benthic macroinvertebrate study kit, please contact us. Priority will be given to those who have taken our Level 2 macroinvertebrate training. We should be able to have the study kit available for pickup either at our Columbus/Groveport offices or one of our District Offices. There are a limited number of study kits, so please only borrow a kit when you are ready to make the most out of your month of loaner time (you may defer a month if you are not yet ready).

Recommended Equipment (please have prior to borrowing the study kit):

  • Stereo Microscope

  • Blunt tipped forceps (causes less damage to specimens)

  • Fine tip probe

  • 70% Ethanol (to keep vials filled after you examine specimens)

  • Petri Dishes (to keep specimens moist as you examine them)