Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

L. Stephen Whitley


A stream survey of Riley Creek in Coles County Illinois, was undertaken to determine ecological trends and the qualitative status of the aquatic community throughout the course of the stream.

The survey encompassed the entire length of Riley Creek from the area of its status as an intermittant waterway to its confluence with Cassel Creek. Sampling periods included the months of April, May, June, July, October and November.

Macroinvertebrate collections were made at six locations along the stream approximately equidistant from each other. The organisms were assigned tolerance levels as designated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Physical and chemical parameters that were tested for included Temperature, Turbidity, Nitrates, Nitrites, Ortho Phosphates, Dissolved Oxygen, Biological Oxygen Demand, Hydrogen Ion Concentration and Total Hardness.

The taxa and tolerance level of the macroinvertebrates was correlated with the physical-chemical parameters tested for to obtain a general stream classification at each smapling site. It was determined, through these data and guidelines set down by the Illinois E.P.A., that Riley Creek is generally in an unbalanced condition. This fact is further exemplified by point sources of pollution among the sampling sites.