As host to some of the most rare and endangered fish and mussels in the Commonwealth, PEC aims to preserve species such as the sand darter, the spotted darter, and the bluebreast darter in French Creek.
Home to more species of fish (over 80) and freshwater mussels (27) than any other stream in the Northeast, one expert labeled French Creek as “undeniably one of Pennsylvania’s foremost aquatic treasures.” PEC works to preserve the over 15 threatened or endangered species, including the eastern sand darter, the spotted darter, and the bluebreast darter that make the French Creek watershed their home. Additionally, the tippecanoe darter cannot be found anywhere else in the Commonwealth except the Northern Allegheny River watershed. Other inhabitants such as the northern riffleshell and the clubshell are endangered at the federal level, as they are only found in a total of six streams within four states.
In late 2000, the first known occurrence of the pugnose minnow in state waters was identified in French Creek, adding a new species to the list of fish inhabiting Pennsylvania. Co-founding the French Creek project in 1995, PEC transitioned control of the project to the French Creek Valley Conservancy in 2012.