Streams are characterized by high degrees of patchiness that could influence the role of predators in these systems. Here we assess the impact of predatory benthic fishes on benthic macroinvertebrate density, biomass, and community structure at the patch scale in a fourth order stream in the southern Appalachians in 1998. We conducted this experiment from July to September 1998 in Ball Creek, a fourth order stream at the USDA Forest Service’s Coweeta Hydrological Laboratory, Otto, North Carolina. We tested the role of predation in two different patch types: patches inhabited by adult mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdi ) and random patches. We placed 30 basket pairs (one open to fish predation, and one from which fish predators were excluded) in the streambed at each patch type. We also tested for potential basket effects by setting up a basket control area.