Montour Run Watershed Assessment & Implementation Plan

The Montour Run Watershed is located at the western edge of Allegheny County, in southwestern PA. The watershed is 36.6 square miles in size with six larger tributaries flowing into it. The main stem of Montour Run trends westerly for approximately 12.9 miles from where it empties into the Ohio River.

The overall purpose of this watershed plan is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological health of waterbodies within the Montour Run Watershed. This plan is an opportunity to record the main sources of water body impairment, identify priority conservation areas and outline a strategy for future restoration and conservation efforts. This work was funded by a Growing Greener Grant, which is part of the PA Environmental Stewardship Fund.

Watershed Visual Assessment

Montour Run Watershed now has an action plan to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the watershed.

As part of the process, visual assessments were conducted over much of the main stem of Montour Run and three major tributaries. The map shows the results of the Montour Run Watershed visual assessment rankings color coded such that red = poor, yellow = fair and green = good. This information helps to coordinate the prioritization of projects that will provide the most pollution reduction in the watershed.

Areas of note include the green, or good, reaches of Trout Run and downstream of Meeks Run and should be considered as areas to preserve. The Meeks Run Tributary ranked fair despite the fact it is known to have good water quality and many species of macroinvertebrates and fish. Within this map sections of the stream that ranked in the poor category are concentrated in Subwatershed Area 4-Robinson where a lot of paved surfaces are contributing stormwater runoff directly to the stream.

State-Threatened Species Found

The Blue Breasted Darter, a state-threatened species, was found in the Montour Run Watershed during a fish survey with Duquesne University's Stream Biology Class.

The species had not been previously identified in this watershed. Their presence indicates good water quality and stream habitat because of their low tolerance for siltation and pollution.

Photo: New York Natural Heritage Program. Online Conservation Guide for Etheostoma camurum. Available from: