Five rapid visual stream assessment methods were applied to 65 restored streams in North Carolina, and the results were correlated with measured macroinvertebrate community metrics to evaluate predictive ability. The USEPA Rapid Bioassessment Protocol (RBP), USDA Stream Visual Assessment Protocol (SVAP), Peterson’s Riparian Channel and Environmental Inventory (RCE), NCSU Eco-Geomorphological Assessment (EGA), and NCSU Stream Performance Assessment (SPA) were applied by teams with expertise in hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, and aquatic ecology. Predictions of most macroinvertebrate metrics were improved by re-weighting assessment variables using principal component analysis (PCA) and including watershed factors (e.g., size, slope, land use). The correlations of EGA, RCE, SPA and SVAP assessment results to macroinvertebrate metrics were most improved by variable re-weighting using PCA, while the correlations of RBP were most improved by adding watershed parameters. Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC) indicates that PCA re-weighting including watershed parameters improves the predictor model for the total number of dominant EPT taxa more than using the sum total raw points for all five assessment methods. To demonstrate the application of the study results, a single-value index was generated for the RBP method using principal component regression (PCR) based on the EPT (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera) taxa metric.
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