Welcome to the Spring Creek Coalition Website!
Mission: to unite as citizens and actively engage in the preservation of the Spring Creek Watershed.
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 fishe 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 wellcamouflaged 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.
When I first took Ichthyology class, it seemed like we spent all of our time studying taxonomy and physiology while looking at colorless minnows in little jars of formalin. I was starting to wonder why anyone would want to study a fish that you couldn't catch on a hook, when we took our first field trip. By the end of the day I had seen my first live orangethroat and orangebelly darters, logperch and a net full of southern redbelly dace in full breeding colors. I remember thinking that theses fish had been living all around me my whole life and i had no idea they even existed.
I have been hooked on stream fish ever since.