Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Coeur d'Alene River (Upper/North Fork) Subbasin

Subbasin at a Glance

Hydrologic Unit Code 17010301
Size 895 square miles (572,800 acres)

Water Bodies with EPA-Approved TMDLs (Category 4a)

Beaver Creek, Bootjack Creek and tributaries, Brett Creek and tributaries, Brown Creek and tributaries, Bumblebee Creek and tributaries, Burnt Cabin Creek and tributaries, Butte Gulch, Calamity Creek, Cataract Creek, Copper Creek and tributaries, Cougar Gulch, Cub Creek, Deception Creek and tributaries, Declaration Creek, Eagle Creek, East Fork Eagle Creek and tributaries, Falls Creek and tributaries, Flat Creek, Graham Creek, Independence Creek and tributaries, Iron Creek and tributaries, Jordan Creek, Laverne Creek and tributaries, Leiberg Creek and tributaries, Little North Fork Coeur d’Alene River, Lost Creek, Lower Buckskin Creek, Lower Lost Fork, Miners Creek and tributaries, North Fork Coeur d’Alene River and tributaries, Prichard Creek, Shoshone Creek, Skookum Creek, Snow Creek, Steamboat Creek and tributaries, Tepee Creek and tributaries, Trail Creek and tributaries, West Elk Creek, West Fork Eagle Creek, West Fork Steamboat Creek, Yellowdog Creek and tributaries

Beneficial Uses Affected Cold water aquatic life, salmonid spawning
Major Land Uses Forestry, recreation, mining
Date Approved by EPA

February 2002
EPA Approval Letter

Date Addendum Approved by EPA

April 2014
EPA Approval Letter

Subbasin Characteristics

The North Fork Coeur d'Alene River and its tributaries drain the entire subbasin represented by hydrologic unit code 17010301. The river and its tributaries flow from the Coeur d'Alene Mountains to the river’s confluence with the South Fork Coeur d'Alene River near Enaville, Idaho. The subbasin encompasses approximately 895 square miles and is mostly forest that is managed by the USDA Forest Service.

2001 Subbasin Assessment and TMDLs

The 2001 subbasin assessment and total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) reviewed the water quality status of streams throughout the Upper (North Fork) Coeur d’Alene River subbasin. Sediment modeling and supporting information demonstrated a systemic sediment problem in the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River watershed. Cold water aquatic life uses were impaired by excess sediment due to nonpoint sources. Since the most downstream segments of the watershed are sediment-impaired and all upstream watersheds contribute at least in part to the sediment load, the assessment recommended subbasin-wide sediment TMDLs. The assessment also found that Beaver, East Fork Eagle, and Prichard Creeks exceeded dissolved cadmium, lead, and zinc standards. Cold water aquatic life uses were impaired due to these metals from historical mining practices.

Sediment modeling was completed for the entire subbasin to estimate natural background sedimentation rates, existing sediment loads, and target loads. Load allocations were established at 1.5 times the estimated natural background rate. This amount was determined to be within the assimilative capacity of the stream and would not impair cold water aquatic life. At the time, many watersheds had sediment loads far in excess of this target. Forest roads were one of the primary sources identified. The 2001 subbasin assessment and TMDLs established sediment load allocations for sediment-impaired streams throughout the subbasin and TMDLs for cadmium, lead, and zinc in East Fork Eagle Creek. Metals TMDLs for Beaver and Prichard Creeks were deferred.

2001 TMDL: Streams and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed

North Fork Coeur d'Alene River (2 segments)
Sediment
Tepee Creek
Sediment
Big Elk Creek
Sediment
Calamity Creek
Sediment
Cub Creek
Sediment
Yellow Dog Creek
Sediment
Shoshone Creek
Sediment
Lost Creek
Sediment
Falls Creek
Sediment
Prichard Creek
Sediment
East Fork Eagle Creek
Sediment, metals
Cougar Gulch
Sediment
Steamboat Creek
Sediment
Little North Fork Coeur d'Alene River
Sediment
Copper Creek
Sediment
Burnt Cabin Creek
Sediment

2013 Addendum

The 2013 Upper (North Fork) Coeur d’Alene River Subbasin Temperature TMDLs Addendum addresses water temperature conditions in the streams and rivers of the Upper (North Fork) Coeur d’Alene River subbasin and is an addendum to the 2001 TMDL. DEQ established temperature TMDLs for 54 assessment units (AUs) with water temperatures exceeding Idaho’s water quality standards. An additional 25 AUs that are not listed as temperature impaired were included in this analysis for informational purposes only. Cold water aquatic life and salmonid spawning uses are impaired due to excess temperature inputs. The primary cause of excess temperature is nonpoint sources due to reduced shade from overwidened channels and removal of riparian vegetation. Temperature TMDLs were developed using the potential natural vegetation (PNV) approach, which is based on the concept that maximum shading under PNV will result in natural background stream temperatures.

2013 Addendum: Streams and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed

Description Assessment Unit Pollutant
North Fork Coeur d’Alene River tributaries below Prichard Creek ID17010301PN001_02 Temperature
North Fork Coeur d’Alene River below Prichard Creek ID17010301PN001_05 Temperature
North Fork Coeur d’Alene River between Yellowdog and Prichard Creeks ID17010301PN001_05a Temperature
Graham Creek below Deceitful Gulch ID17010301PN002_03 Temperature
Beaver Creek headwaters and tributaries ID17010301PN003_02 Temperature
Beaver Creek below White Creek ID17010301PN003_03 Temperature
Prichard Creek below Eagle Creek ID17010301PN004_04 Temperature
Prichard Creek headwaters and tributaries above Butte Gulch ID17010301PN005_02 Temperature
West Fork Eagle Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN008_02 Temperature
Lost Creek below East Fork Lost Creek ID17010301PN009_03 Temperature
Shoshone Creek below Falls Creek ID17010301PN010_03 Temperature
Falls Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN011_02 Temperature
Shoshone Creek headwaters and tributaries above Falls Creek ID17010301PN012_02 Temperature
Shoshone Creek between Little Lost Fork and Falls Creek ID17010301PN012_03 Temperature
North Fork Coeur d’Alene River tributaries between Tepee and Yellowdog Creeks ID17010301PN013_02 Temperature
North Fork Coeur d’Alene River between Jordan and Tepee Creeks ID17010301PN013_04 Temperature
North Fork Coeur d’Alene River between Tepee and Yellowdog Creeks ID17010301PN013_05 Temperature
Jordan Creek and Lower Lost Fork ID17010301PN014_03 Temperature
North Fork Coeur d’Alene River, upper, headwaters, and tributaries ID17010301PN015_02 Temperature
North Fork Coeur d’Alene River, upper, and lower Buckskin Creek ID17010301PN015_03 Temperature
North Fork Coeur d’Alene River between Buckskin and Jordan Creeks ID17010301PN015_04 Temperature
West Elk Creek and Cataract Creek ID17010301PN016_02 Temperature
Tepee Creek between Trail Creek and Independence Creek ID17010301PN017_04 Temperature
Tepee Creek below Independence Creek ID17010301PN017_05 Temperature
Independence Creek headwaters and tributaries ID17010301PN018_02 Temperature
Declaration Creek, lower ID17010301PN018_03a Temperature
Snow Creek, lower ID17010301PN018_03b Temperature
Independence Creek below Declaration Creek ID17010301PN018_04 Temperature
Trail Creek headwaters and tributaries ID17010301PN019_02 Temperature
Trail Creek below Stewart Creek ID17010301PN019_03 Temperature
Tepee Creek headwaters and tributaries ID17010301PN020_02 Temperature
Tepee Creek between Short Creek and Trail Creek ID17010301PN020_03 Temperature
Brett Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN021_02 Temperature
Miners Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN022_02 Temperature
Flat Creek, lower ID17010301PN023_03 Temperature
Yellowdog Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN024_02 Temperature
Brown Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN026_02 Temperature
Steamboat Creek headwaters and tributaries ID17010301PN028_02 Temperature
Steamboat Creek and West Fork Steamboat Creek below Comfy Creek ID17010301PN028_03 Temperature
Cougar Gulch below East Fork Cougar Gulch ID17010301PN029_03 Temperature
Little North Fork Coeur d’Alene River tributaries above Iron Creek ID17010301PN030_02a Temperature
Little North Fork Coeur d’Alene River tributaries between Hudlow and Deception Creeks ID17010301PN030_02c Temperature
Little North Fork Coeur d’Alene River tributaries below Skookum Creek ID17010301PN030_02d Temperature
Little North Fork Coeur d’Alene River between Solitaire and Skookum Creeks ID17010301PN030_03 Temperature
Little North Fork Coeur d’Alene River below Skookum Creek ID17010301PN030_04 Temperature
Bumblebee Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN031_02 Temperature
Laverne Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN032_02 Temperature
Leiberg Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN033_02 Temperature
Bootjack Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN034_02 Temperature
Iron Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN035_02 Temperature
Burnt Cabin Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN036_02 Temperature
Deception Creek and tributaries ID17010301PN037_02 Temperature
Skookum Creek, lower ID17010301PN038_03 Temperature
Copper Creek, lower ID17010301PN039_03 Temperature

 Subbasin Documents