Kentucky River Basin Asessment Report

Middle Fork (lower)

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Geography. The Middle Fork Kentucky River (lower) watershed extends from northwest Perry County across western Breathitt County to Lee County. The southern part of the watershed is in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field physiographic region, characterized by mountainous terrain, rapid rates of surface runoff, and moderate rates of groundwater drainage. The northern part of the watershed is in the plateau area of the coal field region, characterized by rolling terrain, medium to rapid rates of surface runoff, and slow to medium 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. Unconsolidated silts, sands, and gravels occur along the flood plain of the river in Lee County.

Waterways. This watershed includes the section of the Middle Fork between Buckhorn Lake and the confluence with the North Fork east of Beattyville. Among the creeks that feed it are Squabble Creek, Puncheon Camp Creek, Upper Twin Creek, and Long Shoal Branch. Water from the Freeman Fork and Middle Fork Kentucky River (upper) watersheds also flows into this watershed.

Land and water use. Land in the watershed is rural and wooded, with a less than 10% agricultural use. Four businesses and organizations hold permits for discharges into the creeks. See tables for details.

Agency data assessment. The assessed creek segments in this watershed include one (Upper Twin Creek) that only partially supports its 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 1999.


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.)

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