Welcome to the Spring Creek Coalition Website!
Mission: to unite as citizens and actively engage in the preservation of the Spring Creek Watershed.
Spring Creek—Uniquely Diverse and Pristine
By Kip Heth
Spring Creek is one of only five water bodies that are not listed as impaired in Oklahoma. This creek is known for its diverse fish fauna, including the Arkansas Darter, the Least Darter, the Plains Topminnow, and other species rare in most local streams.
Spring Creek also has a diverse insect and crustacean fauna. Aquatic insects, crustaceans, and other invertebrates are less well known than fish, and so documenting their diversity is not only a function of what is actually present, but also our ability to distinguish species as well as our sampling effort.
Not many streams have well-documented fauna. Of those that do, Spring Creek ranks fourth in the world. We are surpassed by a small stream in Bavaria, one in Pennsylvania, and another in South Carolina. All three of those streams have associated university research programs. To date, 312 invertebrate taxa have been identified in eight mainstream and 23 tributary sampling sites on Spring Creek.
Especially diverse are the sensitive insect groups, the Ephemeroptera, or mayflies (49 species); Plecoptera, or stoneflies (28 species); and the Trichoptera, or caddisflies (60 species). Of the 49 mayfly species, 28 are new records for Oklahoma. The mayfly Nixe flowersi, collected at Cherokee Cattle Company, represents only the second collection record for this species.
Spring Creek is truly a unique and special place.
Dr. Kip Heth is a Biology professor at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. He is a member of the Spring Creek Coalition Science Committee. Dr. Heth did extensive studies of Spring Creek while a graduate student at NSU (Master's degree) and University of Arkansas (Ph.D.).