The Fish in Spring Creek

Spring Creek has its headwaters in the City of Plano and continues southeast through Spring Creek Forest Preserve to an eventual confluence with Rowlett Creek that ultimately flows into Lake Ray Hubbard.  The many twists and turns create a distinct ecosystem which consists of a series of Austin Chalk lined riffles, pool, and runs.

A formal fish survey was conducted in 2021 by Jeremy Jordan while working on his graduate degree from Texas A&M Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. He is also an employee of Halff Associates, Inc. as an environmental scientist and certified arborist.

Thirteen species were captured during the survey, but it was determined using additional information that over twenty fish species are likely to be present along the length of Spring Creek that is within the Preserve. Fish collected during the survey can be viewed via the iNaturalist link:

According to Mr. Jordan, “This list should not be considered completely exhaustive, as the composition of stream fish assemblages is dynamic and can fluctuate in time.” In the study, he found “… the presence of a locally rare species (N. stramineus) and a species richness that is relatively high for a highly urbanized stream system.”

Photo by Jeremy Jordan

This Preserve fish species list and description is from iNturalist, August 2023:

*Denotes fish caught by Mr. Jordan in the 2021 Survey.

Red Shiner, Cyprinella lutrensis *

By far the fish with the highest population in the creek at the time of the 2021 survey. They can grow to about 3.5 inches in length. They eat both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, as well as algae.

Bullhead Minnow, Pimephales vigilax  *

The second in population in the creek at the time of the survey. They grow to about 3.5 inches in length. They live an average of three to five years. They are a bottom-living species, and feed on organisms found in the mud covering the ground.

Sand shiner, Notropis stramineus * 

Sand shiners live in open clear water streams with sandy bottoms where they feed in schools on aquatic and terrestrial insects. They grow to about three inches. According to Mr. Jordan’s report, this species is considered rare within the Upper Trinity basin. The fish collected of this species were of various life stages (juveniles and adults), a good indication. The existence of this species in Spring Creek is very likely due to a high percentage of “riffle and run” creek habitat.

Other Species Found In The Creek

  • American Gizzard Shad, Dorosoma cepedianum*
  • Black Bullhead Catfish, Ameiurus melas
  • Blackspotted Topminnow, Fundulus olivaceus*
  • Blackstripe Topminnow, Fundulus notatus*
  • Bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus*
  • Carp, Cyprinus carpio*
  • Carpsucker, Carpiodes carpio
  • Channel Catfish, Ictalurus punctatus
  • Green Sunfish, Lepomis cyanellus
  • Largemouth Bass, Micropterus salmoides*
  • Longear Sunfish, Lepomis megalotis*
  • Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis*
  • Redear Sunfish, Lepomis microlophus*
  • Spotted Gar, Lepisosteus oculatus
  • Stoneroller, Campostoma anomalum*
  • White Bass, Morone chrysops
  • Yellow Bullhead Catfish, Ameiurus natalis