The Coosa 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 Creek
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 Bartow, Cherokee, Fannin, Pickens, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, and 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 Chattooga, Bartow, Floyd, Whitfield, Gordon, and 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 Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Fannin, Floyd, Haralson, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Union, Fulton, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Dawson, and 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. (Corps)
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, Yellow 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 Alabama’s 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, Kral’s 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)
Terrapin Creek 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, Trout 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.
Choccolocco Creek 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.
Weogufka 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 Tulatoma’s range in Weogufka Creek is the largest of any known population. (Hatchet Baseline).
Hatchet Creek 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)