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Clearwater River, North Fork (Lower) Subbasin

Data Details
Hydrologic Unit Codes 17060308
Size 1,145 square miles (732,800 acres)
Water Bodies with EPA-Approved TMDLs (Category 4a) Alder Creek, Beaver Creek, Bingo Creek, Breakfast Creek, Cedar Creek, Cranberry Creek, Deep Creek, Elk Creek, Elkberry Creek, Floodwood Creek, Gold Creek, Isabella Creek, Long Meadow Creek, Meadow Creek, Middle Fork Robinson Creek, Oviatt Creek and tributaries, Partridge Creek, Reeds Creek, Round Meadow Creek, Stony Creek, Swamp Creek, Three Bear Creek
Beneficial Uses Affected Salmonid spawning, cold water aquatic life, primary and secondary contact recreation
Major Land Uses Forestry, recreation, grazing
Date Approved by EPA January 2003 EPA Approval Letter
Date Addendum Approved by EPA November 2013 Approval Letter

Subbasin Characteristics

The Birch Creek subbasin is located in east-central Idaho, along the Montana border. The nearest towns are Leadore to the north and Mud Lake to the south. Birch Creek makes no surface connection with any other streams; it is one of five central Idaho watersheds known as the “Sinks Drainages.”

2002 Subbasin Assessment and TMDL

Twelve TMDLs were written for seven water bodies for three separate pollutants. Seven water bodies were recommended for future §303(d) listing for temperature. The pollutants in the subbasin are mainly from nonpoint sources, as the only point source is the wastewater treatment plant in Elk River. For sediment, the main sources are from natural background contributions, roads, mass failures, and streambank and riparian area erosion. For bacteria, the main sources are cattle and other livestock, wildlife, and humans. For temperature, the source is solar radiation (due to lack of shade).

Nutrients and dissolved oxygen were listed as pollutants of concern on the 1998 §303(d) list; however, after analyzing the data, these pollutants were determined to not be impairing any beneficial uses.

2002 TMDL: Streams and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed

Stream Pollutants
Breakfast Creek Sediments
Cranberry Creek Sediment, temperature, bacteria
Elk Creek (Lower) Temperature
Long Meadow Creek Sediment, temperature, bacteria
Partridge Creek Sediment
Reeds Creek Sediment
Swamp Creek Sediment, temperature

2002 TMDL: Streams and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed

Stream Pollutants
Listed Stream Segment Birch Creek (Reno Ditch to Playas)
Recommendations Do not develop TMDLs; list for flow alteration only
Justification Channel is dry due to permanent diversion

2013 Addendum

This document presents a five-year review of the original subbasin assessment and TMDL and an addendum addressing temperature-impaired water bodies in the subbasin. Based on the 2002 TMDL, 25 assessment units (AUs) were added to Category 5 of the 2010 Integrated Report for temperature violations. This addendum establishes temperature TMDLs for these assessment units based on the concept of maximum shading under potential natural vegetation resulting in natural background temperature levels.

2013 Addendum: Streams and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed

Subwatersheds Pollutants
Elkberry Creek Temperature
Middle Fork Robinson Creek Temperature
Gold Creek, Meadow Creek, and tributaries Temperature
Reeds Creek and tributaries Temperature
Alder Creek Temperature
Beaver Creek Temperature
Bingo Creek Temperature
Beaver Creek tributaries Temperature
Isabella Creek Temperature
Stony Creek and tributaries Temperature
Floodwood Creek and tributaries Temperature
Breakfast Creek Temperature

Subbasin Document(s)

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DEQ Lewiston Regional Office
1118 F St.
Lewiston, ID 83501
Ph: (208) 799-4370
Fax: (208) 799-3451
Toll Free: (877) 541-3304

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