Native Fish and Streamlife Observation Outing, May 11th, 2002

The North American Native Fishes Association
Cleveland Aquarium Society
Mahoning River Consortium

by Rob Carrillio


Eagle Creek

Rock Creek

Stratton Creek


Fish List

Thanks to Nick Zarlinga

More Photos





Stratton Creek

Stratton Creek, at Kinsman, Ohio, is a tributary of Pymatuning Creek which is a tributary of the Shenango River. All of this water flows south, so this of course makes Stratton Creek a part of the Ohio River drainage. This is a little waterway, barely averaging 12 feet wide in the locations we were to sample for fish, yet has every bit as much diversity as any other larger river or stream. Stratton Creek is almost always a clear running stream because the riparian zones on each side of the stream remain intact and mature. In my experiences, I have found that the smaller streams which boast the most diverse habitat have the most diversity in fishes!

As we parked our vehicles and made our way through the thick growth along the banks, I opted to take an easy way to view the sampling of this stream. I sat on top and on the edge of the overpass crossing this peaceful little river. For a moment, I felt like Tom Sawyer lazily wasting away the day, day-dreaming amidst the calm. The sound of the water, by this time of day, nearly coaxed me into a nap! I love these outings! Anyway, I better wake up and point out something unique about Stratton.

Mottled sculpin


In my opinion, this stream has produced some of the most colorful rainbow darters I have ever seen, as well as a population so plentiful, that one rarely misses catching one! If your net is in the water, you just may even catch one by accident! Today, at Stratton Creek, we would basically see a repeat of what had been turning up at the two previous sites.

This stream was running rather high from recent rains, so habitat here, too, was limited. It was nice to turn up some stripped shiners, however, common shiners, a similar fish, seem to be the most abundant. You can witness how dazzling in color a spawning common shiner, can be, by seeing the May 6th 2000 Ohio Regional NANFA Outing web site link from the NANFA web site at

The day was winding down so we decided to call it quits at Stratton Creek. We regrouped after cleaning up any excess litter we found, viewed and documented our findings, then dispersed. By the way, I want to thank participants who helped with litter clean up at each of the sites! It's always good practice to leave the streams in better shape than when we first arrived, at least in the litter category! This also means property owners will welcome future such stream outings.


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