Treaty Creek-Wabash River

The Treaty Creek-Wabash River Project

In 2015, the Wabash River Defenders launched efforts to protect and improve the Wabash River drainage focusing on the Treaty Creek-Wabash River Watershed. The Treaty Creek-Wabash River Watershed drains 157 square miles of Wabash and Miami counties. The drainage includes mostly small tributaries flowing into the Wabash River downstream of Andrews, Indiana to upstream of Peru, Indiana.

What is a watershed?

The Treaty Creek-Wabash River Project focuses on protecting and improving water quality in the Wabash River Watershed. All of the land from which water drains into a singular waterbody forms a watershed. These drainage boundaries are determined by land elevation rather than state or county lines, political boundaries, or residential property lines.

About the Treaty Creek-Wabash River Watershed

Land within the Treaty Creek-Wabash River Watershed is predominantly agricultural with 73% of the watershed covered by row crop agriculture or pasture land, 14% in forest or wetland and 9% in developed land uses including the City of Wabash and Town of Lagro. A majority of the land within the watershed is privately-owned and in a soybean-corn rotation. While limited habitat and biological data are available for much of the Treaty Creek-Wabash River watershed, the Indiana DNR and Manchester University assessments detail the state endangered redside dace population present within Mill Creek, a tributary to the Wabash River on the western end of the watershed. This reproducing population is isolated based on its required riffle-run habitat and cool, clear water quality. Protecting the specific habitat within the Treaty Creek-Wabash River watershed required by the red side dace will allow this state endangered species to flourish.  Limited biological assessments suggest that habitat and water quality may be available in other portions of the watershed which could host this state endangered species.

The Treaty Creek-Wabash River Project

This phase of the Treaty Creek-Wabash River Project includes three main goals:

  1. Water Quality Monitoring: Water quality within 12 tributaries to the Wabash River will be monitored twice per month for one year. Samples will be collected for a variety of nutrient and sediment parameters and combined with historic water quality data. This compilation will provide a foundation for identifying water quality issues and probable sources of pollutants. The baseline will also provide a foundation for measuring future changes in water quality.
  2. Engagment and outreach: The Treaty Creek-Wabash River Project will engage youth and adults through Hoosier Riverwatch monitoring; annual project meetings; agricultural and urban-focused workshops; newsletters; and more .
  3. Watershed Management Plan: The Treaty Creek-Wabash River Project  will connect stakeholder concerns with water quality and computer generated data to develop a step-wise plan for protecting and improving the Wabash River within the Treaty Creek-Wabash River Watershed, its landscape and its water quality. The planning process will include regularly-schedule steering committee meetings with watershed plan drafts posted for review.

Join the Treaty Creek-Wabash River Project

  • Attend Hoosier Riverwatch training on May 24th 8a-4p – RSVP to Jen Rankin at jrankin@slashthetrash.com
  • Help inventory the watershed – contact Sara Peel at wabashriverdefenders@gmail.com for details and map section
  • Join our volunteer list to help with future water sampling, windshield surveys, clean up events and more.
  • Share your thoughts on the Wabash River and its tributaries with Sara via email or phone 765-337-9100.
  • Send us data or photographs – how did the Wabash River and its tributaries look in the past?
  • Share information about the Treaty Creek-Wabash River  Project with your friends, neighbors and local groups. We’d be happy to talk with you and your group about the project.