For more interactive maps of the Captina Creek Watershed, click here.

Captina Creek Watershed

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:

“...of the 32 biological samples collected, 30 sites (94%) were fully meeting the designated or recommended aquatic life use and two (6%) were in partial attainment. ... Fifty four species of fish were found and an impressive 17.5 percent of the fish population in Captina Creek was comprised of fish species intolerant of water pollution. Additionally, some of Ohio’s highest values for total macroinvertebrate taxa richness (average of 84.3 taxa per site) and pollution sensitive taxa (average of 42.4 taxa per site) were documented at Captina Creek sites during 2008 and 2009. The exceptional biological integrity of the fish and macroinvertebrate community in Captina Creek is comparable to several of the best streams in Ohio including Big Darby Creek and the Kokosing River. Over the last 26 years of monitoring biological communities in Captina Creek, exceptional fish and macroinvertebrate populations have been maintained.”

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.

Land-Use Land-Cover
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.
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