WA) or a designated USGS station name, if the site has a gaging station. The station identification number is the designated USGS station number. The full names of all sampling crew members should be entered as the investigators, with the crew leader's name in parentheses. Information on reach conditions is also noted and includes relevant observations concerning recent flooding or local weather conditions. The reference location is a permanent structure that is easily identifiable, such as a USGS gage or bridge pier. This location is recorded as a description of the structure (for example, USGS gage) and by latitude and longitude coordinates. In addition, the exact reach length sampled is noted and information on water quality (conductivity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen) is recorded. Conductivity is recorded at ambient water temperature and thus is ambient conductivity, not specific conductance.
The equipment use section provides the opportunity to record the methods used (for example, electrofishing and seining), the gear used (backpack, towed, or boat electrofishing gear), and aspects of how the gear was used (the length of time that sampling was conducted). When using electrofishing gear, a field strength meter is used to determine the strength of the electrical field, and this information is recorded on the data sheet. Relevant information concerning the use of a particular gear is noted under "Comments" (for example, "Electrofishing gear developed mechanical problems during sampling and may not be operating at peak efficiency").
The fish species data sheet is also divided into two sections--site information and species information. The study unit designation, sampling date, station name and identification number, and investigators are completed as with the fish equipment data sheet. The name of the fish taxonomic specialist is recorded. The code for the sampling gear as provided on the fish equipment data sheet, such as "11A" for backpack electrofishing, first pass, is also entered. The fish species data sheet has an entry for a page number and a cumulative page number. The page number is used by the sampling crew to consecutively number field data sheets; therefore, the page number is unique only for a particular field sampling team during a specific field effort. At least one fish species data sheet is completed for each of the two electrofishing passes and for each additional method. For example, when recording species data for a sampling reach that is sampled using backpack electrofishing and kick seining, at least three fish species data sheets are completed--one for each electrofishing pass and one for kick seining.
The species information section provides the opportunity to record the data collected from each fish. Fish are identified to the species level, and the scientific name is recorded following the taxonomic nomenclature of fish as established by the American Fisheries Society's Committee on Names of Fishes (Robins and others, 1991). Total length, standard length, and weight are entered as previously described. The presence of external anomalies is noted using a two-letter code (table 2) similar to that used by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, 1987).