For more interactive maps of the Captina Creek Watershed, click here.
Captina Creek is located in the southern half of Belmont County, Ohio. It drains approximately one-third of the county and also a very small part of Monroe County. The watershed is 115,380 acres (180 mi2). The headwaters are along two main ridges running east-west.
Along the ridgetops are the villages of Barnesville, Malaga, Somerton, Belmont, Bethesda, and Centerville. Two communities are located within the stream valley, Armstrong Mills and Powhatan Point.
Captina Creek enters the Ohio River in the village of Powhatan Point. The main branch of the stream passes two active underground mines, reclaimed land, and several recreational venues, including two golf courses, a marina, and a village park. The village of Barnesville’s water supply reservoir is located on a main tributary, Slope Creek.
The Ohio EPA completed a “Biological and Water Quality Study of the Captina Creek Watershed” in April 2010. This study is the most complete and recent information concerning the physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the watershed. A full copy of the report can be downloaded on our resources page.
In summary, the OEPA found that:
To date, Captina Creek has the highest average Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) score of any watershed in the entire state of Ohio, making it arguably Ohio's highest quality watershed.
Why is Captina Creek so special? Much of it has to do with the surrounding land-use and land-cover (LULC). Over 62% (72,108 acres) of the Captina Creek Watershed is forested. The next most common LULC is pasture-hay, comprising 23% (23,907 acres), followed by developed areas at 6.8% (7825 acres). It is important to note that the vast majority of the developed areas (7077 acres) are classified as “Developed, Open Space,” the least intense category of developed land. Very few watersheds in the state can boast such a high percentage of natural or undeveloped LULC.
Click on the image to explore the Land-Use/Land-Cover of the Captina Watershed.