Fisheries research and management in North America have focused largely on sport fishes, but native non-game fishes have attracted increased attention due to their declines. The Warmwater Stream Assessment (WSA) was developed to evaluate simultaneously both fish and habitat in Wyoming streams by a process that includes three major components: (1) stream-reach selection and accumulation of existing information, (2) fish and habitat sampling and (3) summarisation and evaluation of fish and habitat information. Fish are sampled by electric fishing or seining and habitat is measured at reach and channel-unit (i.e. pool, run, riffle, side channel, or backwater) scales. Fish and habitat data are subsequently summarised using a data-matrix approach. Hierarchical decision trees are used to assess critical habitat requirements for each fish species expected or found in the reach. Combined measurements of available habitat and the ecology of individual species contribute to the evaluation of the observed fish assemblage. The WSA incorporates knowledge of the fish assemblage and habitat features to enable inferences of factors likely influencing both the fish assemblage and their habitat. The WSA was developed for warmwater streams in Wyoming, but its philosophy, process and conceptual basis may be applied to environmental assessments in other geographical areas. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.