Welcome to the Spring Creek Coalition Website!
Mission: to unite as citizens and actively engage in the preservation of the Spring Creek Watershed.


Redspot Chub

See a video of the redspot chub building its rocky nest mounds with its mouth.

Cardinal Shiner

The Cardinal Shiner turns from plain to colorful during spring mating season.

 

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: Oklahoma's Stream Fish Diversity

Oklahoma's lakes and streams contain one of the most productive and diverse fisheries in the nation. That said, surprisingly few people are aware of this diversity and most can only name about 15 to 25 of our 180 or so different fish species. That means that roughly 85 percent of our fish are unknown to the majority of Oklahoman's - even though they are some of our most beautiful and interesting residents.

Many of these little known species have their own special story, like the cardinal shiner, which each spring transforms from a plain silver minnow to a strikingly handsome red, black and green one with an iridescent blue nose. Or the well-camouflaged banded sculpin with green and gold-colored eyes, due to adjustable lenses that work like sunglasses, reducing the amount and wavelength of light reaching their eyes.

Or the redsot chub who builds his nest exactly opposite from almost all other fish. Instead of spawning in a fanned out depression, the redspot excavates a cavity and then uses his mouth to push, carry and drag just the right stones to fill the excavated cavity level full.

The female then lays her eggs and the male covers them with more rocks. This process is repeated until eventually the chub builds a pyramid shaped mound that may be three feet across and nearly a foot and a half high. He defends his mound viciously from other redspot males, but generously allows other minnow species to lay their eggs in "his" nest.

By Brandon Brown, Fisheries Technician, OK Department of Wildlife Conservation