Since 1972, the BWQ has had the philosophy that getting a complete picture of water quality requires a multifaceted assessment strategy incorporating more than just chemical analyses. Aquatic life surveys, a missing piece in many monitoring programs, provide unique insight into the quality of a water body. Organisms that spend most or all of their lives in the water depend on clean water for their health, so assessment of the integrity of biological communities represents a holistic measure of water quality with the ability to detect a wide range of pollutants.

Over four decades later, there has been a tremendous increase in the numbers of clean water fish species, aquatic macroinvertebrates (insects), and mussels (clams) populating the White River. Each year, the biological studies section takes samples of these core indicator groups from streams throughout Delaware County. Samples are counted and collected by Bureau biologists and university students under a license issued by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Drew Holloway, Biologist
Sam Gradle, Biologist
Macroinvertebrates and Mussels










The Biological Surveillance Section may be seeking seasonal aquatic biologists for summer positions. The biological section is currently sampling sites on the White River as well as many of the smaller tributaries located throughout Delaware County. Because the Bureau is aware that many of these sites border privately owned property, extreme care will be taken to not disturb areas adjacent to sampling sites. If there are concerns or questions, please contact us.

For information related to the safety of eating fish from Indiana waters, please consult the Indiana Fish Consumption Advisory available from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and posted online by Purdue University at the following link: