About French Creek
French Creek is considered one of the most biologically diverse streams east of the Mississippi River providing habitat to over 80 species of fish and 26 species of freshwater mussels.
“French Creek’s diversity and natural history make it ideal for scientific study as well as recreation,” said Richard Sprenkle, DCNR’s Deputy Secretary for Conservation and Engineering Services, the office that oversees the state’s rivers conservation program. “By choosing French Creek as the River of the Year, we are also honoring the work of many groups and individuals committed to keeping this river the ecological treasure it is.”
Despite flowing through a region of relatively dense human population, French Creek exhibits some of the highest water quality of any stream its size in the state. Nearly 90 species of fish and 28 species of native freshwater mussels (one of the most endangered group of organisms on earth) inhabit French Creek’s pools and riffles, including several fish and mollusks on the state and federal endangered species lists.
Scientists rate French Creek as one of the six most biologically diverse streams in the Northeastern United States. The creek’s diversity is due largely to its fickle and interesting past. (Read the article here).
You may see twenty-eight species of freshwater mussel. A wide variety of darters, including the Tippecanoe darter, found nowhere else in Pennsylvania except French Creek and the upper Allegheny River. Numerous aquatic insects, reptiles and amphibians, including hellbenders, which are Pennsylvania’s largest salamanders. Birds, including American bittern, least bittern, black tern, short-eared owl, sedge wren, marsh wren, osprey and bald eagle. Plants of special concern, including rush aster, cuckooflower, vanilla sweet grass and Beck’s water marigold.