Three outdoor experimental channels at the U.S. EPA Monticello (Minnesota) Ecological Research Station were employed to assess in the field acidification effects on macroinvertebrate communities and populations of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). One channel served as ambient (pH 8), the second was acidified with sulfuric acid to pH 6 and the third to pH 5 for 17 weeks. Acidification did not markedly increase toxic metal concentrations in the channels; however, there was some evidence of possible mercury mobilization. Benthic macroinvertebrate densities were lower in the acidified channels during most of the study and final diversity indices were 2.1, 1.7 and 1.2 in the ambient, pH 6 and pH 5 channels, respectively. Drift of amphipods and leeches was stimulated in the pH 5 channel early in the study.