USFWS biologists survey the Crabapple creek site Credit: USFWS

State: Ohio

County: Belmont

Water Bodies Affected: Crabapple Creek, Piney Creek-Captina Creek

An open stream crossing through Crabapple Creek is causing soil erosion and contributing a sediment load to the system. Biological monitoring in 2008-2009 by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has indicated excellent biological conditions in the system, which is located in the Piney Creek subwatershed of Captina Creek, an Outstanding State Water in Ohio. Installation of an open bottom or recessed box culvert would remove vehicles from the stream and provide unrestricted fish passage.

Belmont Soil and Water Conservation District has completed a watershed action plan (WAP) for the Captina Creek Watershed. The purpose of the WAP is to preserve and protect the relatively undisturbed landscape that gives the creek its exceptional water quality and biological diversity. This management plan will provide a guiding framework for watershed stakeholders and key individuals at the community, state and federal levels that can be implemented to protect the biological, chemical and physical integrity of streams in the Captina Creek watershed. Included in this WAP are identified projects that when completed, will further the goals of the watershed. This particular project is identified as a resource concern in the watershed and was targeted because of evaluated impacts to the system. This project, in sequence with a proposed fish passage project upstream, will provide improved water quality and habitat to aquatic organisms in the stream.

Specific objectives for this project include maintaining a current IBI score of 58 indicating Excellent Warm Water Habitat and Cold Water Habitat based on current biological communities; reducing sedimentation by 140 tons per year; monitoring the project site biannually to quantify project benefits; provide a reliable stream crossing for motorists; and provide unrestricted fish passage.