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Owyhee River (Upper) Subbasin

Data Details
Hydrologic Unit Codes 17050104
Size 2,163 square miles (1,384,288 acres) total 1,582 square miles (1,012,411 acres) in Idaho
Water Bodies with EPA-Approved TMDLs (Category 4a) Battle Creek, Beaver Creek, Blue Creek, Blue Creek Reservoir, Camas Creek, Camel Creek, Castle Creek, Deep Creek, Juniper Basin Reservoir, Nickel Creek and tributaries, Pole Creek, Red Canyon Creek, Smith Creek, Thomas Creek
Beneficial Uses Affected Cold water aquatic life, salmonid spawning, primary and secondary contact recreation
Major Land Uses Rangeland, riparian, forestry, irrigated agriculture
Date Approved by EPA March 2000 EPA Approval Letter
Date Addendum Approved by EPA July 2012 EPA Approval Letter

Subbasin Characteristics

The Upper Owyhee River subbasin encompasses a large area in southwest Idaho. The headwaters for the Owyhee River (East Fork) originate in northeast Nevada in the Independence Mountains.

2003 Subbasin Assessment and TMDL

Through the Upper Owyhee River subbasin assessment process, it was determined that most streams in the subbasin on Idaho’s 1998 §303(d) list have cold water aquatic life and salmonid spawning as existing uses. In some cases, data show these uses are not supported due to exceedances of the Idaho water quality standards temperature criteria. In other cases, biological information showed impairment to cold water aquatic life and salmonid spawning.

Two streams were listed as not supporting primary and secondary contact recreation due to the presence of bacteria. However, monitoring has indicated those streams are in full support of the recreation beneficial uses.

A TMDL has been developed for each stream determined to be not fully supporting beneficial uses in accordance with Idaho water quality standards. The TMDLs address temperature reductions required to meet Idaho water quality standard criteria and/or instream sediment goals to maintain or restore cold water aquatic life and salmonid spawning. The TMDLs use management objectives dealing with riparian conditions to obtain these goals.

2003 TMDL: Streams and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed

Stream Pollutants
Deep Creek Sediment, temperature
Pole Creek Temperature
WCastle Creek Sediment, temperature
Red Canyon Creek Sediment
Nickel Creek Sediment
Blue Creek Reservoir Sediment
Juniper Basin Reservoir Sediment

2012 Addendum

Subbasin Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Assessment Units with New TMDLs Assessment Units with Updated TMDLs
Upper Owyhee River 17050104 11 10
South Fork Owyhee River 17050105 0 2
North and Middle Fork Owyhee River 17050107 0 13

2012 Addendum: Assessment Units and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed

Upper Owyhee River Subbasin

DescriptionAssessment UnitPollutant
Battle Creek upstream of Antelope FlatID17050104SW023_02Temperature
Battle Creek between Antelope Flat and Big Springs CreekID17050104SW023_03Temperature
Battle Creek between Big Springs Creek and Owyhee RiverID17050104SW023_04Temperature
Deep Creek between Hurry Back and Nickel CreeksID17050104SW026_04Temperature (updated)
Deep Creek between Nickel Creek and Owyhee RiverID17050104SW026_05Temperature (updated)
Pole Creek upstream of Mud FlatID17050104SW028_02Temperature (updated)
Pole Creek between Camas Creek and Mud FlatID17050104SW028_03Temperature (updated)
Pole Creek between Camas and Deep CreeksID17050104SW028_04Temperature (updated)
Camas Creek between Big Springs Butte and Pole CreekID17050104SW029_03Temperature
Camel Creek upstream of Sunshine Valley CreekID17050104SW030_02Temperature
Nickel, Smith, and Thomas Creek headwatersID17050104SW031_02Temperature
Nickel, Smith and Thomas Creeks 3rd orderID17050104SW031_03Temperature
Nickel and Smith Creeks 4th orderID17050104SW031_04Temperature
Castle Creek upstream of Skunk CreekID17050104SW032_02Temperature (updated)
Castle Creek between Skunk and Deep CreeksID17050104SW032_03Temperature (updated)
Beaver Creek upstream of Carter CreekID17050104SW033_02Temperature
Beaver Creek between Carter and Trap CreeksID17050104SW033_03Temperature
Beaver Creek between Trap and Deep CreeksID17050104SW033_04Temperature
West Fork Red CanyonID17050104SW034_02Temperature (updated)
East Fork Red Canyon and Red Canyon upstream of Petes CreekID17050104SW034_03Temperature (updated)
Red Canyon between Petes Creek and Owyhee RiverID17050104SW034_04Temperature (updated)

South Fork Owyhee River Subbasin

Description Assessment Unit Pollutant
South Fork Owyhee River upstream of Little Owyhee River ID17050105SW001_06 Temperature (updated)
South Fork Owyhee River downstream of Little Owyhee River ID17050105SW001_07 Temperature (updated)

North and Middle Fork Owyhee River Subbasin

DescriptionAssessment UnitPollutant
Middle Fork Owyhee River upstream of Summit Springs Creek ID17050107SW004_02Temperature (updated)
Middle Fork Owyhee River downstream of Summit Springs CreekID17050107SW004_03Temperature (updated)
North Fork Owyhee River upstream of Big Springs CreekID17050107SW008_02Temperature (updated)
North Fork Owyhee River between Big Spring and Pleasant Valley CreeksID17050107SW008_03Temperature (updated)

North Fork Owyhee River between Pleasant Valley and Juniper Creeks, and

Juniper Creek between Cabin Creek and North Fork Owyhee River

ID17050107SW008_04Temperature (updated)
North Fork Owyhee River downstream of Juniper CreekID17050107SW008_05Temperature (updated)
Pleasant Valley Creek upstream of East Fork Pleasant Valley CreekID17050107SW009_02Temperature (updated)
Pleasant Valley Creek between North Fork Owyhee River and East Fork Pleasant Valley CreekID17050107SW009_03Temperature (updated)
Noon CreekID17050107SW010_02Temperature (updated)
Cabin and Corral Creek headwatersID17050107SW011_02Temperature (updated)
Cabin and Corral Creeks 3rd orderID17050107SW011_03Temperature (updated)
Juniper Creek upstream of Buck CreekID17050107SW012_02Temperature (updated)
Juniper Creek between Buck and Cabin CreeksID17050107SW012_03Temperature (updated)

Subbasin Document(s)

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DEQ Boise Regional Office
1445 N. Orchard St.
Boise, ID 83706
Ph: (208) 373-0550
Fax: (208) 373-0287
Toll Free: (888) 800-3480

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