The European Union (EU) member states have agreed on the Water Framework Directive. The vision is that all European waters will achieve "good" ecological status. Each member state has agreed to meet these commitments. In Sweden, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates the methods used for classification of the ecological status of inland and coastal waters. The aim of this study was to evaluate how these criteria (using diatoms, benthic fauna, fish, water chemistry, hydromorphology) principally affect the classification of two typical forest streams. Forestland constitutes approximately 70% of the Swedish land area and forestry is the dominating human impact on many waters. Particular attention was paid to evaluate how the classification may vary with catchment size and between years. The results indicate that there is an obvious risk that many Swedish forest streams will not achieve "good" ecological status. The classification outcome may vary between years and regarding fish status; it also seems to depend on stream size.