Pike County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs
Root Beer Creeks
What is a "Root Beer Creek" ?
It doesn't take a lot of looking to see that Pike County has many trees. In the fall, leaves of oak, maple, and countless other species fall to the ground and begin to decay. Tannin, a naturally occurring chemical found in the leaves will often find its way into the waters of the area turning certain steams various shades of brown. The degree of coloring is based on various environmental factors such as time of year, type of trees growing along the streams, depth of water, etc. Relax, the stream is not polluted. You drink tannin all the time! Tannin from tea leaves is what gives tea its color! Fish in Pike County are well adapted to the tannin in the water. Tannin's only effect is that it often enhances the coloration of the fish. (Many hobbyists add tannin to their aquariums to enhance the color of their fish.) When a steam is high in tannin, churning water often produces a foam. The foam collects along rocks and sticks. The result is a brown liquid with a foamy top producing an effect similar to (but not as tasty as) root beer ... and hence the nickname --- root beer creeks.
Though not showing any foam, this stream is a nice dark brown. The entire watershed of the stream is in the gamelands - protected from all but the most natural contaminants.
CLICK HERE to return to Federation Home Page
CLICK HERE to return to Federation Nature Page