We all understand that Pittsburgh has actually three rivers – it’s one of the very first things girlfriend learn about Pittsburgh! there’s the Allegheny, the Monongahela, and also the two rivers fulfill to kind the Ohio River. But have you ever wondered what kinds of creatures might be lurking in ~ the 3 rivers’ surfaces?

A channel catfish sit on the floor of a river.

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Three Rivers Thrive

The 3 rivers are right now home to almost 70 different types of fish! few of the most common fish discovered in the rivers are:

-Smallmouth Bass

-Rock Bass


-Channel Catfish

-Flathead Catfish

-Freshwater Drums


-Common Carp

You may have actually heard of a couple of of these prior to – bass and catfish are famed fish – but did you understand that several of these watery creatures can flourish to be more than 3 feet in length? A flathead catfish, for example, can thrive to be much more than three and also a fifty percent feet long and also can weigh an ext than 40 pounds! that’s crazy!

Fish Flourish

When the rivers flourish and also are filled with fish, they attract predators such as bald eagles and also ospreys come the Pittsburgh area. In the 1970s, work began to reclaim the water high quality of the 3 rivers back to great health. Because then, together the waters have end up being less polluted, an ext diverse fish have actually been found in the rivers and also streams of western Pennsylvania – enabling other aquatic creatures come thrive, like river otters.

A river otter in ~ the Pittsburgh Zoo sits on a log.

Keeping Pittsburgh Clean

We’ve made a the majority of progress in clean our rivers throughout the past 50 years. However, there is still quite a lot of work to it is in done. One method to keep track the the progression we’ve do is by surveillance the water high quality of streams and watersheds in the Pittsburgh area. Allegheny College’s Creek relationships is an organization that works through Pittsburgh-area schools to monitor the health and wellness of local water sources. For an ext information top top Creek Connections’ work you can visit https://sites.allegheny.edu/creekconnections/.

Students working through Allegheny College’s Creek Connections examine a crayfish found in a neighborhood stream.

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You Otter it is in Kidding Me

Because of pollution and environmental destruction, the river otter population in western Pennsylvania was virtually extinct in the 1900s. Come help, conservationists spent years working on rebuilding habitats and also cleaning the rivers prior to finally reintroducing river otters come the Pittsburgh area in 1982. Due to the fact that then, river otters have ongoing to reclaim their habitat along the 3 rivers.