Chautauqua County is at the beginning of several different watersheds – water from north county streams flows into Lake Erie, drops over Niagara Falls, and ultimately drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Streams in the southern half of the county drain into the Allegany, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, respectively, and eventually water from these streams reaches the Gulf of Mexico.
Our springs and wells are at the source of several large bodies of water and our streams contain some of the cleanest water in these watersheds. As a result, the variety of fish and other aquatic creatures in our area is quite high and includes several sensitive species. Water quality is a critical resource to the health of humans and wildlife, and to our agriculture and economy. Using sensitive species as indicators for clean water, RTPI actively studies and monitors the area’s streams and wetlands. The Bullhead Catfish shown here is just one of many aquatic organisms that you might encounter in our local waterways.
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