River drainage is very large with hundreds of significant tributaries.
Federal agencies have divided the basin into sections for ease in
understanding different areas of the watershed. The first four sections are
tributary systems that converge to form the mainstem of the Coosa River at
Rome, Georgia. These tributary rivers are the Conasauga and Coosawattee
Rivers that combine to form the Oostanaula River. The Oostanaula then
converges with the Etowah River at Rome to give birth to the Coosa River.
Coahulla River, Haig Creek, Holly Creek,
Jacks Creek, Mill Creek, Old Fort Creek, Rock Creek, Sugar Creek, Sumac
The Conasauga River
begins in southeast Tennessee and drains an area of 727 square miles, about
20% of which lies in Tennessee and 80% in Georgia. The system flows through
Polk and Bradley counties in Tennessee and Fannin, Whitfield, Gilmer,
Gordon, Murray, Walker and Catoosa counties in Georgia. Major cities in the
basin include Dalton and Chatsworth Georgia. The Conasauga joins the
Coosawattee at Resaca, GA to form the Oostanaula.
Boardtown Creek, Cartecay River, Cedar
Creek, Clear Creek, East Mountaintown Creek, Ellijay River, Lick Creek,
Mountaintown Creek, Pine Log Creek, Salacoa Creek, Scarecorn Creek, Talis
Creek, Talking Rock Creek
Formed by its
tributaries, the Cartecay and Ellijay, the Coosawattee River flows
just south of its smaller sister, the Conasauga, and occupies approximately
855 square miles, all of which flows through
Dawson counties in Georgia. Major cities in the basin include Fairmount.
The Coosawattee River has two dams on its mainstem, the Carters and Carters
Reregulation dams. This tributary converges with the Conasauga to form the
Oostanaula River near Resaca, Georgia.
Armuchee Creek, Heath Creek, Johns Creek,
Little Armuchee Creek, Oothkalooga Creek
The Oostanaula River
occupies approximately 550 square miles (excluding the Coosawattee and
Conasauga land areas) in
Walker counties Georgia. Major cities in the basin include Calhoun.
Amicalola Creek, Bluff Creek, Canton
Creek, Cochrans Creek, Copper Sandy Creek, Euharlee Creek, Hills Creek,
Little Amicalola Creek, Little River, Long Swamp Creek, Mountain Creek,
Noonday Creek, Pettit Creek, Pumpkinvine Creek, Raccoon Creek, Rock Creek,
Settingdown Creek, Sharp Creek, Shoal Creek, Spring Creek, Two Run Creek
The Etowah River
begins in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Dahlonega, Georgia and flows for 150
miles before merging with the Oostanaula to form the Coosa River at Rome.
The basin drains 1,860 square miles in
Forsyth counties in Georgia. Major cities in the basin include
Cartersville, Kennesaw, Mountain Park and Rome. (GA DNR) The river is
dammed by Allatoona Dam about 48 miles above Rome near Cartersville, GA.
UPPER COOSA TRIBUTARIES
Upper Coosa tributaries by alphabet
Beach Creek, Bear Creek, Cane Creek, Cedar
Creek, Chatooga River, Culstigh Creek, Duck Creek, Johnnie Creek, Lake
Creek, Little River, Little Terrapin Creek, Mills Creek, Nances Creek,
Spring Creek, Teolga Creek, Terrapin Creek, Wallace Creek, Wickers Creek,
The Chattooga River,
the largest tributary of the upper Coosa, begins in Walker and Chattooga
counties Georgia and meets the Coosa at Lake Weiss in Alabama.
Little River was
the first of Alabamaís designated Outstanding National Resource Waters (ONRW).
The ONRW regulation allows no degradation of existing water quality. Little
River harbors 46 fish species. Three federally listed species, the blue
shiner, and two plants, Kralís water plaintain and Harperella are
documented. (State of Rivers) The river flows approximately 30 miles
in a southwesterly direction and drains an area of approximately 200 square
miles (130,000 acres). The river is among the cleanest and wildest waterways
in the South. (NPS website)
flows into Neely Henry
MIDDLE COOSA TRIBUTARIES
Ball Play Creek, Beaver Creek, Big Canoe
Creek, Big Cove Creek, Big Willis Creek, Black Creek, Blue Eye Creek, Broken
Arrow Creek, Cane Creek, Cheaha Creek, Choccolocco Creek, Eastaboga Creek,
Hillabee Creek, Kelley Creek, Kelly Creek, Little Canoe Creek, Ohatchee
Creek, Salt Creek, Shoal Creek, Talladega Creek, Tallasseehatchee Creek,
Big and Little Wills
Creek drain apprximately 300 square miles and harbors 34 fish species.
(State of Rivers) Both creeks flow into Neely Henry Lake.
Big Canoe Creek is
246 square miles and supports 54 fish species. (State of Rivers) The
Creek flows into Neely Henry Lake.
supports 70 fish species and 21 taxa of snail. This watershed may support
the largest number of endangered and threatened species found in any Alabama
waterway of comparable size. Seven species, two fish, the blue shiner and
pygmy sculpin, three snails, and two mussels, fine lined pocketbook and
southern pigtoe. Recent snail surveys found 10 species and the endangered
Tulotoma snail, making it the most diverse Coosa tributary in Alabama for
gastropods. (Pierson and Bogan)
Shoal Creek is
known by scientists for its richness of snail species with recent surveys
finding 8 different species, one of the highest counts in the Coosa Basin.
(Pierson and Bogan)
LOWER COOSA TRIBUTARIES
Beeswax Creek, Camp Branch, Cedar
Creek, Chestnut Creek, Crooked Creek, Emauhee Creek, Hatchet Creek, Jacks
Creek, Little Weoka Creek, Muddy Prong, Paint Creek, Peckerwood Creek, Shoal
Creek, Socapatoy Creek, Sofkahatchee Creek, Stumps Creek, Swamp Creek,
Tallasseehatchee River, Walnut Creek, Wash Creek, Waxahatchee Creek, Weewoka
Creek, Weogufka Creek, Weoka Creek, Yellowleaf Creek.
drains 130 square miles and supports 37 species of fish (State of Rivers)
including the threatened blue shiner, and endangered tulatoma snail (total
of nine snail species present). Weogufka Creek was once a tributary to
Hatchet Creek before Mitchell Dam impounded the lower reaches of both
Weogufka and Hatchet Creek The blue shiner is found in a 22.4 mile segment
of the Creek and represents that species longest remaining habitat in
Alabama. Similarly the Tulatomaís range
in Weogufka Creek
is the largest of any known population.
drains 422 square miles and is a biologically rich subwatershed. 61 species
of fish (62 including the blue shiner in Weogufka) highlight the watershed
as an extremely diverse sub-basin of the Coosa. By comparison fish diversity
for other Coosa tributaries shows Big Canoe Creek-54, Terrapin Creek-41
species, and the Little River an Outstanding National Resource Water -46.
Some sensitive species include burrhead shiner (Notropis asperifrons),
speckled chub (Macrhybopsis aestivalis). shadow bass (Ambloplites
ariommus), the brightly colored bronze darter (Percina palmaris),
and greenbreast darter (Etheostoma jordani).
Twelve species of snail
have been documented in Hatchet Creek, including the endangered Tulatoma
snail. Also possesses populations of the rare Cahaba lily, Hymenocallis
coronaria. (State of Rivers and Hatchet Baseline)