See NIWA scientists talking about their work, along with fascinating animations and underwater footage.
The nitrate test included in SHMAK is a colorimetric test. Where to order additional Aquaspex Microtest® Nitrate-N kits.
Temperature and conductivity are two easy measurements you can take in your stream. Here's how to use a temperature logger.
There are two methods to determine visual clarity in SHMAK; the clarity tube (or SHMAK tube) and the black disc method.
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.
The various assessments in SHMAK are done over different lengths (reaches) of stream. Mark out the longest reach first, then shorter reaches.
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.
Phosphate is measured in SHMAK using the Hanna Instruments Phosphate Checker. Where to order phosphate checkers and reagents.
How you can assess the types and amount of periphyton: communities of algae and cyanobacteria attached to the sediment surface or plants.
Macrophytes are large aquatic plants. How to assess macrophyte cover with just a measuring tape and a willingness to get wet.
The SHMAK method for rubbish involves collecting and identifying all the rubbish (litter) in the stream and on the stream banks.
Two methods for describing streambed composition: the visual assessment method is quicker while the Wolman walk is more accurate.
Use an ice-cream tray to isolate and separate your invertebrates. The Benthic Macroinvertebrate Field Guide helps you with identification.
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.
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.
Use a net & the kick-net method to collect a greater range of benthic macroinvertebrates and more accurately assess the diversity of the community.
If you don’t have a net, you can collect stones from the streambed and collect the invertebrates that are clinging to the stones.
The SHMAK visual habitat assessment gives your stream a score that you can use to assess changes over time or compare streams.
SHMAK Stream Site Assessment - How to record some basic information about your stream site so you can interpret your results.
Sustainable fisheries depend on good scientific data about fish stocks.
Check out the winning entries from the 2019 NIWA Staff Photography Competition.