"Park Fork of Merrick Branch"

Our stream does not have an official name yet. Its watershed lies in the transition between Inner Bluegrass with some karst on the west side, and more shaley hills on the east side. Its headwaters are partly converted into ponds near Chinoe Road—from where Chinese carp sometimes wash into the park.

Native aquatic wildlife can include occasional muskrats, herons, frogs, snapping turtles, watersnakes, queensnakes, small fish and crayfish, but these species are often sporadic or hard to observe when present. There are no poisonous snakes. Removal of bush-honeysuckle has probably increased the numbers of invertebrates.

In technical terms, the stream can be placed in Rosgen’s (1994) class B: the channel “moderately entrenched, [with] cross-section width/depth ratio >12, displaying low channel sinuosity, and exhibiting a ‘rapids’-dominated bed morphology”. Downstream, especially below the confluence at south end of park, our stream grades into his class C:
“low gradient, meandering, point-bar, riffle/pool, alluvial channels with broad, well-defined floodplains”.

Lansdowne-Merrick Park with “Park Fork of Merrick Branch”
Lansdowne-Merrick Park, with “Park Fork of Merrick Branch” flowing from right to left (southwesterly), then joining with “Zandale Fork” under the parking lot at the Arby’s restaurant on Tates Creek Road.


Snapping Turtle: as seen recently after laying eggs near Lamar Drive.
Snapping Turtle: as seen recently after laying eggs near Lamar Drive.

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