Physical Environment:
Streams

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Streams dissect Illinois prairies and create unique environments within them. Permanent streams often provide havens for trees and other plants along their banks and serve as fire breaks. Three major streams run through Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Prairie Creek, Grant Creek, and Jackson Creek. Jackson Creek, the largest of the three, is a high quality stream, one of the “least disturbed streams in Northeastern Illinois” (Glass, 1994). Prairie Creek at Midewin NTP
Prairie Creek, Midewin NTP

Grant Creek has the greatest biological diversity of the three streams. Prairie Creek, which flows by Starr Grove and empties into the Kankakee River, is a potential habitat for three Illinois endangered or watch list species. The pallid shiner (Hybopsis amnis), greater redhorse (Moxostoma valenciennesi), and threatened river redhorse (Moxostoma carinatum) occur in the Kankakee near the mouth of Prairie Creek (Glass, 1994).

Pallid Shiner


Ellipse Mussel
Ellipse Mussel
The streams have bottoms ranging from silty in the more ponded areas to gravel and bedrock in the swifter portions. This range of environments provides for greater species diversity, including 32 species of fish and 9 species of mussels. One mussel, an Illinois watch list species, the ellipse (Venustaconcha ellipsiformis) inhabits Jackson Creek (Glass, 1994). This species is rare in the Midwest and has disappeared entirely from the state of Ohio.



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http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/midewin/streams.html, Last modified October 21st 2003, 02:54AM.