Water Quality Division
Blue Thumb Program
Volunteer Data Interpretation
Posey Creek: Sandusky
NW SW SE
N 35° 57’ 45”
W 95° 55’ 46”
WBID#: OK 120420-01-0030G
Blue Thumb Volunteer Monitoring Data Review using data collected between October 1994 and August 2007.
Posey Creek is located in Tulsa County just south of Tulsa, between Glenpool and Bixby. The creek runs through oil and gas fields and has a drainage area of about 12 square miles. It is a tributary to the Arkansas River. It has been known as a reference creek (a high quality creek), though the land is now being developed for houses. The site location is the bridge on South Sandusky Avenue.
The trend of the creek’s habitat seems to indicate that Posey Creek is beginning to show the affects of what is around it. As of 2007 the canopy shading is very good. The creek has an excellent variety of water depths, both deep and shallow. There is also a high level of grasses and shrubs along the banks, though beyond the immediate banks the vegetation is low. There is a reasonable amount of places where fishes and insects can hide beneath, behind, or within. While there are a few point bars developing, indicating dirt being moved down stream, the bottom of the stream is fairly stable. The flow is low and the stream doesn’t have many curves; it doesn’t divert much from its straight line around the location area.
Since 1998 fish were collected four times. In those four times the number of fish species remained high. Only about twenty-two species needed to be caught to compare to high quality streams in the area, but each summer collection at Posey Creek found over twenty-two species. Out of abundant fish there were about nine species of sunfish, two species of darter fish, three species of long-lived fish, and three intolerant species. The majority of the conditions were graded a B; this means that there is decreased species richness, in this case the sensitive bottom dwelling species.
Winter collections of benthic macroinvertebrates (bugs) between 1994 and 2007 are generally as good, or better, than the average high quality stream in the ecoregion. However, the number of sensitive species is gradually declining. The majority of the bug conditions for winter were ranked A; this means that the creek is comparable to the best situation expected within the ecoregion. It has a balanced trophic and community structure for stream size. While summer collections still have three or four species of sensitive bugs, you would expect to find seven species. The number of sensitive species in the summer is also gradually declining. The majority of the bug conditions for the summer were ranked C; this means that there are fewer species due to the loss of most of the sensitive species.
The median oxygen saturation for Posey Creek is 73%. This is a bit low, but can be explained by very low flow. This portion of the creek does not have many riffles but is mainly pooled. The pH level of the creek has a good median of 7.5. The soluble nitrogen level is 0.68 mg/L N. The orthophosphate median is .03 mg/L P. The chloride median is 35 mg/L Cl. All of these results are well within the normal range.
Bacteria testing during the summer indicates that E. coli test results vary somewhat; it can sometimes go above 400 colony forming units per 100 mL water (the level safe for human contact), but has only done so twice.
Posey Creek is located between Glenpool and Bixby, just south of Tulsa. It has a drainage area of about 12 square miles and empties into the Arkansas River. The habitat varies and is beginning to show the affects of what is happening to it from the development around it. The number of fish species in this creek is relatively high, only missing some sensitive bottom dwelling fish species. The majority of the fish conditions were ranked B. Winter bug collections are ranked A, though they are beginning to show a gradual decline in the number of sensitive bug species caught. This means that the creek was comparable to the best situation expected within the ecoregion. The summer bug collections are not as good. The majority ranked C, which means that there were fewer species due to the loss of most sensitive species. Bacteria testing indicates that E. coli is occasionally high enough that you wouldn’t want to swim in the creek. Posey Creek is still quite healthy, but appears to be changing over time due to continued development in the area.
By Helen Talaese