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.

Training and Testing

Primary Headwater Habitat/HHEI

The Primary Headwater Habitat/HHEI training is designed to fully acquaint the participant with: sampling requirements and data interpretation for the Headwater Habitat Evaluation Index (HHEI) and the Headwater Macroinvertebrate Field Evaluation Index (HMFEI); and qualitative sampling of the primary headwater fish and stream salamander species.

The Primary Headwater Habitat (PHWH) sample methods apply to headwater streams where drainage area is generally less than 1.0 sq. mi. The 8-hour training consists of several classroom presentations followed by 3 hours of field work at headwater sites where physical habitat and biological data will be collected. After completion of this training the participant will be able to demonstrate how to assign one of three aquatic life use classes (Class I, II, III) for a primary headwater stream using the HHEI, HMFEI, and qualitative vertebrate sample protocols. This training does not cover laboratory taxonomic identification of cool/cold water benthic macroinvertebrates, fish, or headwater stream salamander species.

The QHEI/Biocriteria training is the baseline habitat training and is required for any Qualified Data Collector with habitat status. Completion of the 8-hour PHWH/HHEI training will partially fulfill the required Primary Headwater Habitat "training option" for Level 2 Certification (HHEI only) under the Volunteer Monitoring Program (VMP). Final Level 2 VMP Certification for the primary headwater stream program will require that the applicant successfully complete a second day "field test option" that is presently under development.

Primary Headwater Habitat Resources