OPW Uncovers Tank Creek’s Crawling Critters

Trout fishing enthusiasts know the stonefly well. Long used as bait, the aquatic insects also play a key role as “indicator species.” Stonefly nymphs, or “naiads,” rely on well oxygenated waterways that have to stay generally clear and cold. Wherever stoneflies gather, the water that flows is usually of relatively high quality. 

That’s why on August 21, Our Pocono Waters set out to find the aquatic insects flowing in Tank Creek, an Exceptional Value (EV) stream. Coordinated with our partners Sierra Club Northeast PA, Brodhead Watershed Association, Pocono Heritage Land Trust, and Brodhead Chapter Trout Unlimited, our Critter Crawl at Fieldstone Farm Preserve was a big, nymph-filled success!

Following a guided nature hike, participating families and friends collected bins and cups full of macroinvertebrates. An hour of exploration uncovered that Tank Creek is flowing with stonefly larvae as well as caddisfly larvae, crayfish and salamanders. 

The 52-acre Fieldstone Farm, owned by the Pocono Heritage Land Trust, is home to the headwaters of Tank Creek. Nestled deep within a forested valley, this EV stream interestingly got its name because way back when steam locomotives once stopped here to refill their water tanks. 

Today, Tank Creek is one of the many important tributaries to the Delaware River. Maintaining protections for these EV streams is essential to upholding the high water quality of the Delaware River watershed. 

EV stream protections are granted by Pennsylvania to waterways with the greatest chemical, biological and ecological qualities. Once designated, no degradation of the stream’s outstanding water quality is permitted under any circumstances.

To learn more about EV streams and to participate in future events, join the campaign by Pledging to Defend Our Pocono Waters.

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