The macroinvertebrate communities of large lowland rivers are little studied, partly because of the lack of suitablecollection methods. In this study, four macroinvertebrate collecting methods: two artificial substrates, snags andonionbagbaskets; airliftsampling of soft sediments; and sweep net sampling of edges (including macrophytestands where they occurred) were trialed in four lowland rivers within the MurrayDarlingBasin in southeasternAustralia. The subset of the macroinvertebrate community collected by each method was determined and thenumber of replicates needed for a given degree of precision was estimated. Sweep samples were dominated byhemipterans and were the best method for collecting decapods and beetles. The other three methods collectedmostly chironomid, caenid mayfly and ecnomid caddisfly larvae and oligochaetes. The artificial snag and basketsamples had surprisingly similar compositions but the snag samples did contain some taxa, such as Dicrotendipes,Paratanytarsus and woodboringbeetles, that basket samples did not. The densities of macroinvertebrates collectedby artificial snags, sweep and airliftsamples were similar. We concluded that each of the methods could be usedin lowland rivers but for different purposes. For example, if quantitative data are needed, only airliftsand snagswould be appropriate, whereas if a species list is required, snags and sweeps would be most effective.