Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Author's Department


First Advisor

Leonard Durham


Kickapoo Creek is a medium sized, warm water stream located in the central part of Coles County, Illinois. The creek is the receiving stream for the sewage effluent of the cities of Mattoon and Charleston which recently began treating sewage to the tertiary level. In 1967-70, the fish population of the creek was intensively surveyed at a time when a less advanced method of sewage treatment was employed. This study provided a baseline of information from which a portion of the present study is founded.

Fish were collected from 5 sampling stations utilizing capture techniques comparable with those used in the original study. Forty species of fish from 8 families were collected during an eight month sampling period in 1978. Eight species found were previously unrecorded from the creek while 6 others that were taken in the earlier study were absent. A comparison of the population structures of the two periods revealed that the 1978 population contained a greater percentage of fishes intolerant of pollution than did the 1967-70 population. Groups indicative of good water quality such as darters (Percidae), redhorse (Moxostoma), and black bass (Micropterus), were more common in the more recent collections.

The Shannon diversity index was applied to the data of both studies and it was determined by the use of a t-test that the 1978 fish population was significantly more diverse than was the 1967-70 population. In general, the diversity of the fish population increased as the stream order increased. A somewhat aberrant diversity was present at the first station containing fish below the Mattoon effluent. No fish were observed immediately below this effluent.

Macroinvertebrate communities were also studied to augment the fish data. Fifty-nine taxa were identified with insects being the most dominant group. Suitable forms of arthropods were used to compute a biotic index. This index indicated that the macroinvertebrate communities near the Mattoon effluent reflected a very poor water quality. As downstream progression was made, water quality improved to a fair condition as defined by the index. A slight degradation occured immediately downstream from the entrance of a tributary containing the Charleston effluent.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.