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 and it was determined that over twenty fish species are likely to be present within the reach of Spring Creek within the Preserve. Fishes collected during the survey can be viewed via the iNaturalist link:

Photo by Jeremy Jordan

Fishes in Spring and Rowlett Creeks:

Notropis lutrensis                                   Red Shiner

Pimephales vigilax                                 Bullhead Minnow

Notropis stramineus Sand shiner

Ambloplites ruprestris                            Rock Bass

Dorosoma petenense                              Threadfin Shad

Cyprinus carpio                                      Carp & Japanese Coi

Notemigonus cryoleucas                        Golden Shiner

Zygonectes notatus                                 Blackstripe Topminnow

Fundulus zebrinus                                   Plains Killifish

Campostoma anomalum                         Stoneroller

Ictalurus nactalis                                    Flathead Catfish

Noturus gyrinus                                       Tadpole Madtom

Gambusia affinis                                     Mosquitofish

Micropterus salmoides                            Largemouth Bass

Lepomis cyanellus                                   Green Sunfish

Lepomis megalotis                                  Longear Sunfish

Lepomis marginatus                                Dollar Sunfish

Lepomis macrochirus                              Bluegill

Percina sciera                                         Dusky Darter

Etheostoma chlorosomym                       Bluntnose Darter

For a guide of fishes within the Preserve visit:

Fish in Spring Creek….don’t eat! (August, 2009 update)

The USGS recently released a report stating that all stream fish in the US are contaminated with mercury  (methyl mercury), mostly due to atmospheric pollution from concrete plants (Texas has Plenty of those),  coal-fired power plants, and trash burning.  The highest concentrations of methyl mercury were found in largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, so fishermen beware.

Texas has fish consumption advisories in place for certain species. A full list of such warnings is available at

Excerpts from field sampling and reconnaissance of Spring Creek environments:

A major feature of the riparian forest is Big Spring Creek.  The creek is fed by numerous springs and seeps from the Austin Chalk bed through which it cuts its course.  Benthic organisms were not observed to be very abundant in the creek, a probable result of flushing and bottom scour by floods.  Benthic primary production was represented mostly by diatoms.  In addition, there was some growth of filamentous algae (Cladophera glomerata and Campsopogon sp.) observed in the creek, but not enough to indicate eutrophic conditions. Macrophytes such as Anacharis (Elodea) and Chara were of very limited distribution in the creek.

Fish species list and field description from:

  1. Albert H. Halff Associates, Inc. October 1992.  Spring Creek Forest Preserve Master Development Plan for the City of Garland, Texas – Parks and Recreation Department and The Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest.
  2. Jeremy V. Jordan, Albert H. Halff Associates, Inc. February 2022.  Fish Survey of Spring Creek Forest Preserve.
  3. Also thanks to Art Fishman for adding and correction some of the listed species.


Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society

U.S. fish community data online

Aquatic Biodiversity – EPA

Biological Indicators

Texas River Guide – Trinity River Basin – North

Dallas Area Freshwater Mussels