Cherry Creek Watershed
About the Watershed
Cherry Creek is a second order valley stream located at the north slope base of Kittatinny Mountain in southeastern Monroe County, Pennsylvania; Northampton County is located just south of that location. The creek originates from two ponds just east of Route 33 and south of Saylorsburg, and the flow is substantially increased by large springs located a short distance downstream from the pond outflow and above the Cherry Valley Trout Hatchery.
The creek meanders for approximately 15 miles through a narrow, steep-sided valley, eventually emptying into the Delaware River at Delaware Water Gap. The elevation change from source to mouth is only about 370 feet, and numerous tributaries erupting from Kittatinny Mountain feed the creek. Cherry Creek is listed as a High Quality Coldwater Fishery according to the PA Department of Environmental Resources.
The watershed covers 13,314 acres, about 20.8 square miles in total.
The Cherry Valley substrate is primarily gravel, sand and silt with scattered cobble and boulders located in higher gradient riffle areas where scouring occurs.
The underlying geology is a complex of limestone, shale and siltstone overlain with unconsolidated glacial deposits of silt, sand and gravel in the valley. Because of the limestone formations, Cherry Creek has a much higher pH, alkalinity and total dissolved solids than is found in most Pocono area streams, which generally are acidic with a low mineral content.
Riparian vegetation is well established and stable, varying between trees that provide a thick canopy on the upper and lower stream to woody bushes that create heavy bankside overhang, especially in the mid-valley area.
A National Wildlife Refuge for the Cherry Valley?
A preliminary assessment of the Cherry Valley area by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed the findings of the Monroe County Natural Areas Inventory and other research: that the Cherry Valley area is an outstanding wildlife area with national significance. It is home to eighty species and natural communities of concern, including several federally listed species such as northeastern bulrush, dwarf wedge mussel, bog turtle, and bald eagle. H.R. 3281, the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge, has been introduced in the United States Congress to complement ongoing county, municipal, state and conservation organization efforts to preserve the special resources of this beautiful area.
for more information on the proposed Wildlife Refuge visit the Friends of Cherry Valley website.