Beginning in 2007 several streams in the northern and central parts of Clinton County — Anderson Fork, Cowan Creek, Todd’s Fork and Lytle Creek — have been regularly monitored by members of the Clinton Streamkeepers.
The health of these streams was assessed using the Ohio Department of Natural Resources scenic river methodology. This is a procedure based on macroinvertebrates, which are small organisms without backbones such as aquatic insects, worms, snails and clams. The fish community depends on these organisms for food.
In addition, oxygen levels, pH and water clarity were measured.
According to the Clinton Streamkeepers, streams in this part of the county were found to be in good to excellent condition with one major exception:
• Anderson Fork was sampled a total of 20 times in two locations. The average results were in the lower excellent range.
• Two locations on Todd’s Fork were sampled a total of 21 times. The average results found Todd’s Fork to be in excellent condition.
• The upper portion of Cowan Creek was sampled eight times and was in the good range every year with the exception of the drought year of 2008. The average score was in the middle of the good range.
• Lytle Creek within Wilmington was the lone exception to the generally good or excellent water quality of our area streams. It was sampled in the Sugargrove Cemetery a seven times, with all but one reading in the poor range. In fact the index numbers here were less than half as good as the next lowest stream sampled. The water looked good, smelled good and generally had plenty of oxygen, but very few living things were found. Conditions like these often indicate the likely presence of toxic materials in the stream.
This year a sampling station was added where Lytle Creek passes under Clarksville Road. The results here were somewhat encouraging. The stream water quality increased from poor to good. This would indicate the pollution in the stream had been diluted enough for fish and invertebrates to survive.
Clinton Streamkeepers is an organization dedicated to maintaining and improving the quality of Clinton County waterways through monitoring and educational projects. In addition, it has begun funding grants to improve water quality in the Little Miami watershed. People interested in more information are invited to call president Don Spurling at 937-382-5497.