Sediment oxygen demand (SOD) was determined at three sites in a gravel-bottomed central Missouri stream by: (1) two variations of an instream method, and (2) a laboratory method. SOD generally was greatest by the instream methods, which are considered more accurate, and least by the laboratory method. Disturbing stream sediment did not significantly decrease SOD by the instream method. Temperature ranges of up to 12 degree Celsius had no significant effect on the SOD. In the gravel-bottomed stream, the placement of chambers was critical to obtain reliable measurements. SOD rates were dependent on the method; therefore, care should be taken in comparing SOD data obtained by different methods. There is a need for a carefully researched standardized method for SOD determinations.