Ecological Analysis of the Fish Distribution in Green Creek, A Spring-Fed Stream in Northern Ohio

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The distribution of fishes in Green Creek, a spring-fed tributary of Sandusky Bay in northern Ohio, was studied from June 1976 through June 1977. A total of 31 species representing 22 genera and 10 families was taken at 8 stations along the length of the creek. Two cold water springs interrupt the longitudinal succession of fishes and cause the stream to be divided into 4 divisions, each with its own ecological characteristics and fauna: I. Upland warm water tributaries with Catostomous commersoni and cyprinids dominant. II. Cold water trout stream produced by stocking Salmo gairdneri near the spring; Coitus bairdi is an abundant native species in this division. III. Marl substrate of low gradient with Catostomous commersoni, cyprinids, darters, and Coitus bairdi. IV. Estuary of Lake Erie with typical lake fishes. The stations with the highest macroinvertebrate biomass also had the highest fish biomass. Various physical and chemical measurements were made, and it was determined that the marl deposits of the springs were not conducive to fish productivity. The distribution of fishes in Green Creek does not follow the classical pattern of longitudinal zonation but is determined by the unusual physical and chemical parameters induced by the springs.


Author Institution: Department of Zoology, The Ohio State University



The Ohio Journal of Science. v79, n2 (March, 1979), 84-92