The headwaters of the Spring River can be said to begin with Howell Creek, which arises within the city limits of West Plains. It is classified as a losing stream, one that loses much or all of its flow to the groundwater system, typical of the karst topography in this area. It ceases to flow in dry periods but maintains some permanent stretches.
The photo above is of Howell Creek behind the Farmers Market on St. Louis Street, after a rainy period, with a lot of sediment in the water. Since the photo was taken, the trees and most of the vegetation have been removed from the streambanks.
most urban streams, Howell Creek collects trash. These Stream Team volunteers
are picking up lots of trash along the creek behind the Neathery Skate
Park. The streambanks have almost no vegetation to protect against erosion.
As it flows out of the city, Howell Creek runs through fields and pastures. This photo, taken at the ZZ Highway bridge, shows evidence of erosion along the banks and cow trails down to the water. The gates can be closed when the water is low and cattle move from one side to the other.
Eventually, Howell Creek flows into the Warm Fork of the Spring River.
The development of content for *Our Watersheds Our Homes* is funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. DNR Subgrant #G04-NPS-17.Top