The Kentucky River 204
030 watershed straddles the southern boundary between Lee County and Estill
County. The land is in the escarpment area of the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field
physiographic region, characterized by hilly terrain, very rapid surface runoff,
and moderate rates of groundwater drainage. The watershed is underlain by coals,
sandstones, and shales: this geology is generally conducive to productive wells,
although water quality may be low for wells that draw from coal layers. Parts of
the watershed lie over easily weathered clay shales that store water but allow
little groundwater flow. Other parts of the watershed lie above interbedded clay
shales and siltstones.
Waterways. This watershed includes the Kentucky River between
Sturgeon Creek (Heidelberg) and Station Camp Creek (Irvine). Among the creeks
that feed it are Cave Branch, Willow Branch, Ross Creek, Wolf Pen Branch, Buck
Lick Branch, Buck Creek, and Big Doe Creek. Water from the Millers Creek, Cow
Creek, Sturgeon Creek, and Kentucky River 204 010 watersheds also flow into this
Land and water use. Land in the watershed is mainly rural and wooded;
about 10% is agricultural. The surface waters of the watershed supply the
drinking water for the municipal system in Irvine. Two businesses hold permits
for discharges into the creeks. See tables for details.
Agency data assessment. The assessed creek segments in this watershed
fully support their designated uses, based on biological and/or water-quality
data. See tables for details.
Watershed rankings. The ranking formula provides a preliminary
ranking by synthesizing a broad spectrum of watershed characteristics, current
conditions, and threats. This watershed ranks in the group with a moderate need
for protection and/or restoration. This rating is for the watershed on average:
particular sites and particular waters within the watershed may vary widely. See
tables for details.
Volunteer data. No volunteer data were collected in this watershed in