Ohio River Basin Watershed Models

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This project built upon the knowledge gained and framework designed during the individual FHP-scale modeling efforts and provided more localized estimates of aquatic health. Additionally, for this analysis, an updated methodology was developed for assigning stress and determining natural quality of aquatic habitats. Generally, the models, analyses, and data produced as a result of this project are intended to enable a unique, broad, and spatially explicit understanding of the links between natural habitat conditions, human influences on aquatic habitats, and aquatic health. Specifically, the outcomes can be utilized to conduct fish habitat condition assessments based on a range of stakeholder-specified metrics and modeling endpoints to help determine natural drivers of aquatic conditions, as well as major stressors for the selected watersheds within the Ohio River Basin. The ultimate goal is to improve understanding of how local processes influence stream conditions in the region and to provide additional knowledge, data, and tools to help prioritize and drive conservation action throughout the study area.

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Models developed


  • Fish Index of Biotic Integrity - Muskingum River watershed (Ohio)
  • Macroinvertebrate Biotic Integrity - Licking River watershed (Kentucky)