Kentucky River Basin Asessment Report

Lytles Fork & Eagle Cr.

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OVERVIEW

Geography. The Lytles Fork & Eagle Creek watershed covers northern Scott County and adjoining edges of Owen and Grant Counties. The land is in the hills of the bluegrass subregion of the Bluegrass physiographic region, characterized by hilly terrain, very rapid surface runoff, and slow groundwater drainage. The watershed lies mainly above interbedded limestones and shales (>20% limestone, allowing groundwater flow where the clay content is low enough). Some of the watershed lies above thick layers of easily dissolved limestone that form carbonate aquifers: groundwater flows through channels in the limestone, so caves and springs are common in regions with this geology.

Waterways. This watershed constitutes the headwaters region of Eagle Creek. Lytles Fork and Eagle Creek join just over the Scott County line in Owen County, at which point the Eagle Creek (upper) watershed begins. Among the creeks that feed Lytles Fork are Griffith Branch, Hess Branch, Longlick Branch, and Little Indian Branch. Among the creeks that feed Eagle Creek in this watershed are Muddy Branch, Sharon Branch, Rogers Creek, West Fork Eagle Creek, East Fork Eagle Creek, Straight Fork, Hall Branch, Little Eagle Creek, Mile Run, and Rays Fork.

Land and water use. Land in the watershed is more than 50% agricultural and more than 40% rural and wooded. Ten businesses and organizations hold permits for discharges into the creeks. See tables for details.

Agency data assessment. The assessed segment of Eagle Creek fully supports its designated uses, based on biological and/or water-quality data. The assessed segment of Lytles Fork only partially supports its designated uses, based on biological and/or water-quality data. Habitat alteration contributes to the impairment of the stream. 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 the lowest 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. Data for East Fork Eagle Creek show elevated concentrations of iron and selenium. Data for West Fork Eagle Creek show elevated concentrations of selenium. Phosphorus levels at both sites were elevated enough to cause potential nutrient enrichment problems (> 0.1 mg/L). See tables for details.

TABLES

Click here to view tables for this watershed, in PDF format. These tables include land-use characteristics, designated uses, stream assessments, public water supply and water withdrawal sites, permitted discharge sites, gaging and sampling sites, volunteer data, and values for the 35 indicators used in calculating watershed rankings. (You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the tables: Adobe Systems will let you download a free copy.)

MAPS                    [You may click the maps below to view them close up.]

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