The Red River (upper)
watershed covers eastern Powell County, western Wolfe County, and part of Menifee County.
The land is in the escarpment and plateau areas of the Eastern Kentucky Coal
Field physiographic region, characterized by rolling to hilly terrain, medium to
very rapid 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. Parts of the watershed lie over sandstone
aquifers. Other parts lie above interbedded clay shales and siltstones.
Waterways. This watershed includes the section of the Red River from
just west of Hazel Green to the junction of the Red River with the Middle Fork
Red River (near Bowen). Among the creeks that feed the Red River in this
watershed are Big Branch, Swift Camp Creek, Clifty Creek, Gladie Creek, Wolfpen
Creek, Chimney Top Creek, Leatherwood Fork, Indian Creek, Spaas Creek, and Short
Creek. Water also flows into the watershed from the Stillwater Creek and Red
River (headwaters) watersheds.
Land and water use. Land in the watershed is mainly rural and wooded;
about 15% is agricultural. The surface waters of the watershed supply the
drinking water for the Campton municipal system. Nine businesses and
organizations hold permits for discharges into the creeks. See tables for
Agency data assessment. The assessed creek segments in this watershed
include one (an unnamed tributary of Swift Camp Creek) that does not support all
of its designated uses, based on biological and/or water-quality data. Siltation
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 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. A site on the Red River exhibited elevated chromium
and selenium. A site on Swift Camp Creek showed elevated chromium. See tables