An Ohio Dominican University Ichthyology class has found a species of fish in Alum Creek for the first time in history. During the summer of 2017, a class led by ODU assistant professor of Environmental Science, Blake Mathys, Ph.D., found Tippecanoe Darters. The fish has since been found on multiple occasions by ODU students who utilize the creek regularly as part of their field learning. The waterway flows through ODU's campus.
"Fish have different tolerances for things like pollution and habitat modification, so by seeing what fish are in the creek, we’re able to see the quality of the water,” Mathys said. “This is the first time that Tippecanoe Darters have ever been found in Alum Creek. This species indicates pretty high water quality so this finding tells us that the water quality in Alum Creek is good and is improving."
"It’s extremely important to see that we have cleaner water and it's bringing more life back to our areas," said Jalyn Devereaux, an Environmental Science and Biology major at ODU.
One of Ohio's two smallest species of fish, Tippecanoe Darters are listed as a state-threatened species, which the Ohio Department of Natural Resources defines as being "a species or subspecies whose survival in Ohio is not in immediate jeopardy, but to which a threat exists. Continued or increased stress will result in its becoming endangered."