Frenchcreek 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 (one of the most endangered group of organisms on earth). Frenchcreek, including our local stretch between Meadville and Franklin, exhibit some of the highest water quality of any stream its size in North Eastern United States.
You may see several fish and and mollusks on the state and federal endangered species lists inhabiting Frenchcreek's pools and riffles. A wide variety of darters grace our banks, including the Tippecanoe darter, found nowhere else in Pennsylvania except Frenchcreek and the upper Allegheny River. Watch for our numerous aquatic insects, reptiles and amphibians, including hellbenders, which are Pennsylvania’s largest salamanders. Keep on the lookout for our many native birds, including American bittern, least bittern, black tern, short-eared owl, sedge wren and marsh wren. Osprey, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron and American Bald Eagles are frequently spotted on Frenchcreek. Plants of special concern include rush aster, cuckooflower, vanilla sweet grass and Beck’s water marigold.