Stream Assessment

The Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP) contains a series of standardized techniques for evaluating habitat, bugs and fish communities in wadeable streams. This protocol allows data to be shared, used for multiple purposes and comparisons, and stored in a common database. It has proven useful for making recommendations for restoration and enhancement projects.

SNC also uses OSAP methodologies in small streams across the watershed to collect information on channel morphology, bank stability, flows, and water quality. The program closely follows the efforts of our water quality sampling schedules, repeated in a five year cycle to ensure comparable data. 

Our staff utilize a method called electrofishing within municipal drains and natural water courses to monitor species composition and quantities. Electrofishing is a common scientific survey method used to sample fish populations. When performed correctly, electrofishing results in no permanent harm to fish, which return to their natural state in as little as two minutes after being stunned.

We rely on permission to gather data on private properties from local landowners, who in turn receive reports showing the OSAP results taken.

Click here to see SNC's OSAP sampling locations from 2004 - 2014.