Niangua River, Ozarks region, Missouri, USA

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United States, Missouri, Camdenton

The Niangua River is in the United States and flows through south and central Missouri through the Ozarks region. It’s 201km long. It is a tributary of the Osage River. The name of Niangua comes from an Indian tribal leader and it means ‘bear’.

It is one of the best fishing spots in the state of Missouri (at Bennett Sprigs there are lots of trout) and many hikers come here for snorkeling, canoeing and hiking. On hot summer weekends the river is quite crowded, thanks to the cooling current from the water.

The river bed is rocky and pebbly, but there are also fine sandy stretches and lots of limestone. There are plenty of trees along the banks of the river, so driftwood is relatively abundant in some stretches of the river. The surrounding forests are home for a large number of plant and animal species, for example salamanders, minnows, darters, northern water snake and so on. There are some endemic fish species there, too, like the Niangua darter.

Submitted by
Anikó Csanadi
Approved by
Fritz Rohde & Lawrence Kent
37.9596100, -92.8014984
Geographical region
Northern America
Drainage Basin
River catchment
Water body type
Water body name
Water body part
River mouth
Water body course
Lower course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name

Videos above and below water

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
4-22 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

285 mg/l
12 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen
90 %

Substrate in nature

Stone form
Submerged terrestrial vegetation

Aquatic Biotope

Date of collecting
Collecting area
Water depth
Air temperature


Surrounding area

Niangua River is in the Ozarks region in Missouri . It is the tributary of Osage River and it is 201km long, surrounding with forests and beautiful hills and mountains. There are many different species of trees and other wetland and aquatic plants. You can find rivers, riffles , creeks and lakes in this region, too. It has its endemic flora and fauna, for example the beautiful Niangua darter what you can’t find anywhere else in the states.

Some of the species of trees and grasses that we can find there, are the following: white oak, black oak, bur oak hickory nut, maple and pale trees, mountain dogwood and sassafras. The fauna is very special, too.

In the area there are Ozark big-eared bats, Whitetailed deers, wild turkeis, collared lizards. In the water and wetland: Ozark cavefish, several darter species, the Ozark Hellbender, Curtis pearly mussel.

Underwater landscape

The land is nearly untouched, especially in the wild where the mountains and rivers run through. There are many driftwoods and leaves in the water, but there isn’t too much silt, because the flow of the river clears it up. The bottom consist rocks, pebbles, limestone, gravel and sandstone.

Many stretches of the river are shallow, providing excellent habitat for a variety of salamanders and darters. As the river is quite fast flowing in some regions, aquatic plants are limited there. In most of the places, tree branches, leaves and of course stones of various shapes and sizes are the most common.


  • Oncorhynchus mykiss (Salmonidae)
  • Salmo trutta (Salmonidae)
  • Micropterus dolomieu (Centrarchidae)
  • Lepomis macrochirus (Centrarchidae)
  • Lepomis megalotis (Centrarchidae)
  • Etheostoma nianguae (Percidae)
  • Etheostoma spectabile (Percidae)
  • Ictalurus punctatus (Ictaluridae)


  • Lampsilis brittsi (Unionidae)

Aquatic plants:

  • Ludwigia repens (Onagraceae)
  • Ludwigia glandulosa (Onagraceae)
  • Vallisneria americana (Hydrocharitaceae)
Threats to ecology

The diversity of the landscape and wildlife provides an excellent opportunity for hiking, fishing, snorkeling and relaxation. The area is home to many nature preserves and national parks, such as the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and Bennett Spring State Park. There is a strong emphasis on preserving the area and protecting the animal and plant species found there.

Riparian zone

Trees near the aquatic habitat
Many - Carya tomentosa (Juglandaceae)
Trees near the aquatic habitat
Many - Juglans nigra (Juglandaceae)
Trees near the aquatic habitat
Many - Hamamelis vernalis (Hamamelidaceae)
Trees near the aquatic habitat
Many - Cornus mas (Cornaceae)
Trees near the aquatic habitat
Many - Quercus alba (Fagaceae)


  • A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico by Lawrence Page
    ISBN 978-0-547-24206-4

Comment by the expert

Lawrence Kent: Artistic, peaceful repreentation of an Ozark stream bottom, pleasing to the eyes, fish appear comfortable, displaying and even breeding, peaceful and beautiful.

Fritz Rohde: This a stunnigly beautiful biotope that accurately captures an Ozark stream.