Kentucky River Basin Asessment Report

Otter Creek

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OVERVIEW

Geography. The Otter Creek watershed covers north-central Madison County. The land is in the outer subregion of the Bluegrass physiographic region, characterized by undulating terrain, moderate to rapid surface runoff, and moderate rates of groundwater drainage. Parts of the watershed lie over interbedded shales and limestones (these are 20% limestone; water conduction is poor because of the clay content of the shale). Other areas are underlain by interbedded limestones and shales (>20% limestone, allowing groundwater flow where the clay content is low enough).

Waterways. Otter Creek empties into the Kentucky River at Ford. Among the creeks that feed it are Hicks Branch, Tribble Branch, East and West Forks Otter Creek, Lost Fork, and Stony Run.

Land and water use. Land in the watershed is about 85% agricultural; the rest of the land is divided roughly equally among commercial, residential, and rural wooded categories. Six 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 (East Fork Otter Creek) that only partially supports its designated uses, based on biological and/or water-quality data. Excess nutrients contribute 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. Two volunteer sites were sampled in 1999. One, on Dreaming Creek, had high levels of bacteria indicative of fecal contamination (above 200 colonies/ml). 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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