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Bioassessment and Biocriteria Program Status for Michigan: Streams and Wadeable Rivers

State Program Contact

MDEQ Water Exit

Water Quality Standards

WQS Information
The link to Michigan's WQS that are in effect for Clean Water Act purposes is provided. These are the WQS approved by EPA.
The state of Michigan provided information and links to sections of their administrative code on designated aquatic life use, biological criteria, antidegradation as well as technical support documents and information on its bioassessment and biocriteria programs. These are included for your convenience and may or may not reflect the most recently EPA approved WQS. The following links exit the site Exit

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Designated Aquatic Life Uses
  • Coldwater fisheries: trout, salmon, whitefish, and cisco
  • Warmwater fisheries: fish species that thrive in relatively warmwater, including any of the following: bass, pike, walleye, panfish
  • Other indigenous aquatic life and wildlife 

Biological Criteria
_____ Narrative
_____ Numeric
__X__ No criteria

Antidegradation Policy
Michigan’s antidegradation rules are found at R 323.1098 (PDF) (62 pp, 894 K).

Biological Assessment

What biological assemblages are used in the bioassessment program?
Benthic macroinvertebrates and fish

Are bioassessments used to support 303(d) listings?
Yes. Listing methodology: Water Quality and Pollution Control in Michigan Sections 303(d), 305(b), and 314 Integrated Report

How are assemblages used to make impairment decisions?
Independently applied

Other uses of biocriteria or bioassessment within the water quality program:
TMDL development and assessment, antidegradation, non-point source assessments, BMP evaluation, 305(b) surface water condition assessments, and evaluation of discharge permit conditions

Technical Support Information and Documents:

Reference condition:
Not applicable.

Not applicable.

Stressor identification/causal analysis approach:
Not applicable.

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