Kentucky River Basin Asessment Report

North Fork Subbasin

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The North Fork Kentucky River subbasin occupies all of Perry County and most of Letcher, Knott, and Breathitt Counties, as well as parts of Wolfe and Lee Counties.

The North Fork subbasin, like the rest of the Eastern Kentucky coal field, has mountainous terrain that causes rapid surface runoff of rainwater. The northern edge of the subbasin is in the plateau area of the coal field, with more rolling terrain and somewhat less rapid surface runoff.

A few issues account for most of the problems documented for this subbasin in the Kentucky Division of Water’s most recent Report to Congress under the Clean Water Act. These include straight pipes and failing septic systems, contamination from runoff in heavily settled areas, modification of streambeds or removal of vegetation, and siltation resulting from logging, mining, construction, or other activities.

All but two of the watersheds in the North Fork subbasin ranked high or medium in the Ranked Watershed List, and most ranked high. This is an indication of the consistently high need for attention to waterways and watersheds in the subbasin.

Learn more about the subbasin by going to EPA’s North Fork subbasin web site.


View a map of watersheds in the North, Middle, and South Fork subbasins.

Select a watershed to view individual reports:

Big Creek
Boone Fork
Cane Creek (Breathitt)
Carr Fork
Crystal Creek
Frozen Creek
Grapevine Creek
Hell Cr & Walker Cr
Holly Creek
Leatherwood Creek
Line Fork

Lotts Creek
Lower Devil Creek
Maces Creek
North Fork Kentucky River (headwaters)
North Fork Kentucky River (upper)
North Fork Kentucky River (middle)
North Fork Kentucky River (lower)
Quicksand Creek
Rockhouse Creek
South Fork of Quicksand Creek
Troublesome Creek
Upper Devil Creek



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