Steephead Streams

Water, Fish, Streams. Steephead

Steepheads are deep ravines that occur in upland sandhill or clayhill habitats. A steephead itself is like a giant living organism or ecosystem. At the head of steephead ravines are springs or seepages of clear, filtered water that emerge from the ground and constantly erode the gullies headward. Steepheads provide a unique and sheltered habitat for many specially adapted and delicate species of animals and plants. Steepheads abound with amphibian species because of their cooler and insolated nature.

During the heat of the summer, steepheads are much cooler than the surrounding uplands because of their deeper elevation and their heavily shaded overstory of hardwoods. Steepheads have lush, dense vegetation that provides shelter and cover for many species of animals, especially frogs and salamanders.

On the bottom of steephead valleys along small clear-running streams often lay dense carpets of sphagnum moss, which is heaven for many salamander species.