October 3, 2012


Media Contact:
Michele Hall
Boone County Commission Administrative Assistant
Phone: (573) 886-4312
Email: mhall@boonecountymo.org


MSCI scores at 75% of Hinkson Creek sites were fully supporting aquatic life

Columbia, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has released preliminary results from a spring 2012 survey of Hinkson Creek. Macroinvertebrate (bug) samples were collected using MDNR stream bioassessment methodology on April 3, 2012. Water quality data including temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, discharge and nutrients were also collected.

The Missouri Stream Condition Index (MSCI) is a numerical score ranging from 4-20 that expresses the health of a stream. Higher numbers indicate more biologically diverse, healthy streams. An MSCI score of 10-14 indicates a stream is impaired and partially supports life; a score of 16-20 indicates the stream is fully supporting of aquatic life.

Prior to this recent invertebrate survey, the upper part of Hinkson Creek had not been sampled by MDNR since 2005, when only 62% of the samples were fully supporting aquatic life.  Of the eight sites recently surveyed on Hinkson Creek, two were partially supporting aquatic life. Sites at Recreation Drive and Walnut Street had MSCI scores of 14, while the other six sites were fully supporting aquatic life. The three sites below the confluence of Flat Branch Creek were not sampled due to the introduction of contaminants from a fire on April 1, 2012.

Boone County’s Stormwater Coordinator, Georganne Bowman says, “The stormwater management team with the University, City, and County suspected aquatic life had been improving since 2002. These results indicate that our ordinances, stream buffer setbacks, stormwater practices and discharge tracking and elimination have been effective. While there is more to do, we are definitely on the right track.”

This recent MDNR data supports the findings of John Nichols, a graduate student from the University of Missouri. His study found that macroinvertebrate samples from 2011 indicated the upper Hinkson from Broadway to the landfill fully supported aquatic life, while the lower reaches were just below the fully supporting threshold. Nichols’ study underlines the need to tie macroinvertebrate assessments to water quality, habitat and stream flow. The study found seasonal differences in bug composition. During the summer, stream flow decreases and the pools become disconnected which restricts macroinvertebrate movement and decreases overall water quality. The MDNR plans to resample all 11 sites on Hinkson Creek in the fall of 2012. Bowman says, “We anticipate the extended drought will have a negative impact on the stream scores.”

For a copy of the preliminary report, table of historic MSCI scores and more information, visit www.helpthehinkson.org/collaborativeadaptivemanagement