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.
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 http://www.nanfa.org.
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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