The Streamside Salamander can be found in upland deciduous forest in regions of rolling topography, mostly in areas with limestone bedrock, a few in non-calcareous regions with sandstone and shale (Kraus and Petranka 1989). Adults are usually found underground, under rocks, leaves, logs, etc. Breeds most frequently in first- and second-order streams. Typically deposits eggs singly on undersides of flat rocks in pools and (less often) runs. Less frequently breeds in ponds. Most successful in streams that are seasonally ephemeral, have natural barriers (cascades, waterfalls) that prevent the upstream movement of predatory fishes, and have large flat rocks for oviposition (Kraus and Petranka 1989; see also Copeia 1992:468-473). Larvae in stream pools in Kentucky were most abundant among the filamentous green alga (Cladophora), which provides protection from predators and supports prey organisms (Holomuzki 1989). The species is restricted to the USA in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and an isolated population in Tennessee.
Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 10,000.