Cedar Creek (Indiana)

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Cedar Creek near the confluence with the St. Joseph River
Cedar Creek: Scenic River Segment
Abandoned Vandalia Railroad bridge over a channelized portion of Cedar Creek in Auburn, February 2001.

Called Mes-kwah-wa-se-pe or "old redwood creek" by Native Americans, Cedar Creek is the largest tributary of the St. Joseph River, draining 174,780 acres (707.3 km2) in northeastern Indiana. It is 31.9 miles (51.3 km) long,[1] rising in northwestern DeKalb County and joining the St. Joseph just below the Cedarville Dam in Allen County.

Origins and history[edit]

Upper Cedar Creek originated as an ice-marginal channel at the western edge of the Erie Lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier and formed a single stream with the southwest-flowing Eel River which connected to the Wabash River. Lower Cedar Creek was a tributary of the ancestral Eel, carrying glacial meltwater under the ice through a tunnel valley known today as Cedar Creek Canyon.[2] Blockage of the Eel's channel by outwash from the canyon and a decline in the volume of meltwater caused lower Cedar Creek to reverse its flow. In so doing, it captured the flow of the upper Eel, a classic example of stream piracy that shifted Cedar Creek's drainage (about 175,000 acres) from the Eel-Wabash system to that of the St. Joseph-Maumee.[3]

Once a meandering stream, upper Cedar Creek was channelized (straightened and deepened) in the early 20th century for agricultural and urban drainage, which has increased the watershed's vulnerability to erosion and contaminated runoff. Once home to 27 species of freshwater mussel, Cedar Creek has experienced a drastic decline in mussel population since the 1980s.[4]

Course[edit]

Cedar Creek originates at Indian Lake (41º27'51" N 85º10'11" W), northwest of Corunna, Indiana, and comes into formal existence downstream at Cedar Lake.[5] Its DeKalb County section flows east-southeast from Indian Lake, loops around Waterloo, passes through Auburn, then angles southwest until it enters Allen County, where it is crossed by Indiana State Road 327 south of Garrett before turning back to the southeast toward Leo-Cedarville.

Lower Cedar Creek, from river mile 13.7 to its confluence with the St. Joseph, is officially designated as an "Outstanding State Resource Water" [6] and is one of four streams in Indiana's Natural, Scenic and Recreational Rivers system.[7]

Tributaries[edit]

  • (left) Willow Creek[8]
    • (left) Kell Ditch[9]
    • (left) Willow Creek Ditch[10]
      • (left) Willow Creek Branch[11]
      • (right) Hatch Ditch[12]
    • (right) Krumlauf Branch[13]
  • (left) Yant Ditch[14]
  • (left) Little Cedar Creek[19]
    • (left) Black Creek[20]
    • (left) Hinkley Ditch[25]
    • (left) outflow from King Lake[26]
    • (left) Yarde Ditch[27]
    • (left) Sycamore Creek[28]
  • (right) Schmadel Ditch[29]
  • (right) Dosch Ditch[30]
  • (left) Garrett City Ditch[31]
  • (left) Diehl Ditch[32]
    • (right) Peckhart Ditch[33]
      • (left) Ober Ditch[34]
  • (right) W Smith Ditch[35]
  • (right) Matson Ditch[36]
  • (left) Swartz Ditch[37]
  • (right) Dibbling Ditch[38]
  • Cedar Lake[39]
    • Leins Ditch[40]
      • (left) McCullough Ditch[41]
      • Indian Lake[42]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 19, 2011
  2. ^ Water Resource Availability in the Maumee River Basin, Indiana, Water Resource Assessment 96-5, Indianapolis:Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water, 1996, pp. 46-47.
  3. ^ Sunderman, Jack A., "The Three Faces of Cedar Creek," ACRES Quarterly, v. 39, no. 4 (Fall 2000), pp. 6-7.
  4. ^ United States Geological Survey, What Makes a Healthy Environment for Native Freshwater Mussels? Fact Sheet 124-00 (October 2000).
  5. ^ Cedar Creek Wildlife Project
  6. ^ 327 Indiana Administrative Code 2-1.5-19
  7. ^ 312 Indiana Administrative Code 7-2-3
  8. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Willow Creek
  9. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kell Ditch
  10. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Willow Creek Ditch
  11. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Willow Creek Branch
  12. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hatch Ditch
  13. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Krumlauf Branch
  14. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Yant Ditch
  15. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: White Lake
  16. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Wappes Ditch
  17. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Clark Chapman Ditch
  18. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Fulk Lake
  19. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Little Cedar Creek
  20. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Black Creek
  21. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Bilger Ditch
  22. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Whan Ditch
  23. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Roudy Lake
  24. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mud Lake
  25. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hinkley Ditch
  26. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: King Lake
  27. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Yarde Ditch
  28. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sycamore Creek
  29. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Schmadel Ditch
  30. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dosch Ditch
  31. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Garrett City Ditch
  32. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Diehl Ditch
  33. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Peckhart Ditch
  34. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Ober Ditch
  35. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: W Smith Ditch
  36. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Matson Ditch
  37. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Swartz Ditch
  38. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dibbling Ditch
  39. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Cedar Lake
  40. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Leins Ditch
  41. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: McCullough Ditch
  42. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Indian Lake

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°27′51″N 85°10′11″W / 41.46417°N 85.16972°W / 41.46417; -85.16972