Aquatic communities in the Boise River were examined from October 1987 to March 1988 to determine whether they were adversely affected by trace elements in effluents from two Boise wastewater treatment facilities. Trace-element concentrations in the Boise River were less than or near analytical-detection levels and were less than chronic toxicity criteria when detectable. Insect communities colonizing artificial substrates upstream and downstream from the wastewater treatment facilities were strongly associated, and coefficients of community loss indicated that effluents had benign enriching effects. The distributions of trace-element-intolerant mayflies indicated that trace-element concentrations in effluents did not adversely affect intolerant organisms in the Boise River. Condition factor of whitefish was significantly increased downstream from the Lander Street wastewater treatment facility and was significantly decreased downstream from the West Boise wastewater treatment facility.