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SHMAK Water Quality – Nitrate
The nitrate test included in SHMAK is a colorimetric test. Where to order additional Aquaspex Microtest® Nitrate-N kits.
SHMAK Water Quality – Temperature and Conductivity
Temperature and conductivity are two easy measurements you can take in your stream. Here's how to use a temperature logger.
SHMAK Water Quality – Visual Clarity
There are two methods to determine visual clarity in SHMAK; the clarity tube (or SHMAK tube) and the black disc method.
How to Collect a Water Sample
Some SHMAK tests require you to collect a water sample. If you are sending your water sample to a lab for analysis, here's a list of some water quality labs.
Setting up your Site
The various assessments in SHMAK are done over different lengths (reaches) of stream. Mark out the longest reach first, then shorter reaches.
What is Included in SHMAK
SHMAK is available as a starter kit, a standard kit and SHMAK+. Here we explain what is included in the kit and what extras you need to purchase on your own.
SHMAK Water Quality – Phosphate
Phosphate is measured in SHMAK using the Hanna Instruments Phosphate Checker. Where to order phosphate checkers and reagents.
SHMAK Stream Life – Periphyton
How you can assess the types and amount of periphyton: communities of algae and cyanobacteria attached to the sediment surface or plants.
SHMAK Stream Life – Macrophytes
Macrophytes are large aquatic plants. How to assess macrophyte cover with just a measuring tape and a willingness to get wet.
SHMAK Habitat - Rubbish
The SHMAK method for rubbish involves collecting and identifying all the rubbish (litter) in the stream and on the stream banks.
SHMAK Habitat – Streambed Composition
Two methods for describing streambed composition: the visual assessment method is quicker while the Wolman walk is more accurate.
SHMAK Stream Life – How to Sort and Identify your Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sample
Use an ice-cream tray to isolate and separate your invertebrates. The Benthic Macroinvertebrate Field Guide helps you with identification.
SHMAK Stream Life – How to get your Benthic Macroinvertebrate Sample Ready for Sorting
Before you look at what animals you have collected, follow these methods to clear away debris (stones, sand, leaves, twigs) from your sample in the net.
SHMAK Stream Life – Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Muddy-Bottom Streams
If your stream has a muddy-bottom or soft-bottom (made of silt or mud), you need to use a different method than if your stream has a stony-bottom.
SHMAK Stream Life – Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates using the Kick-Net Method
Use a net & the kick-net method to collect a greater range of benthic macroinvertebrates and more accurately assess the diversity of the community.
SHMAK Stream Life – Collecting Benthic Macroinvertebrates using the Stone Method
If you don’t have a net, you can collect stones from the streambed and collect the invertebrates that are clinging to the stones.
SHMAK Habitat – Visual Habitat Assessment
The SHMAK visual habitat assessment gives your stream a score that you can use to assess changes over time or compare streams.
Stream Site Assessment
SHMAK Stream Site Assessment - How to record some basic information about your stream site so you can interpret your results.
Science on the high seas
Sustainable fisheries depend on good scientific data about fish stocks.
2019 NIWA staff photographic competition - winning entries
Check out the winning entries from the 2019 NIWA Staff Photography Competition.