Unique Features
During July, 1993 a survey was conducted to study the unionid fauna in the Monongahela River Basin and the direct tributaries to the Ohio River in southwest Pennsylvania (Bogan, 1993). It was reported that the unionid fauna inhabiting Dunkard Creek represents the most diverse unionid fauna existing in the Monongahela River Basin and is second in diversity to that found in French Creek in the Allegheny River Basin. Bogan suggests this fauna is potentially sheltered from the possible direct impact of the zebra mussel because the lower end of Dunkard Creek is blocked by the combined effects of pollution and acid mine drainage effectively sealing off the upper portion of Dunkard Creek from invasion of the creek from the Monongahela River. Dunkard Creek above the impacted area is a refuge for a large portion of the unionid diversity in the upper Ohio River Basin in western Pennsylvania. There were 20 species identified as having been present in the basin. This was the greatest unionid species diversity found in any of the tributaries in the Allegheny, Monongahela or Ohio River basins in western Pennsylvania. In his report Bogan states that Dunkard Creek should be the focus of a combined effort to preserve this fauna on the part of both the states of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
A portion of Dunkard Creek was designated as Pennsylvania's first catch and release bass fishery during 1995 through 1998. A 4.2 mile stretch from the mouth of Shannon Run at the T-339 ford downstream to the SR 2009 bridge. Under the proposed regulations, only "no-kill" angling was permitted for all bass species in this section of water. This section of Dunkard Creek was considered suited to a special regulation because of good access, habitat, forage, and smallmouth bass abundance. Data is presently being collected and analyzed. The results will be published in a report in the year 2000.