Geography. The South Fork Kentucky
River (lower) watershed covers north-central Owsley County and south-central Lee
County. The land is in the plateau area of the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field
physiographic region, characterized by rolling terrain, medium to rapid surface
runoff, and slow to moderate 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
Waterways. This watershed includes the section of the South Fork
between the National Forest and Beattyville, where the South Fork empties into
the Kentucky River. Among the creeks that feed it are Betty Bowman Creek, Buck
Creek, Fish Creek, Jerushia Branch, Caney Fork, Straight Fork, and Pawpaw Creek.
Water from the Meadow Creek and South Fork Kentucky River (upper) watersheds
also flows into this watershed.
Land and water use. Land in the watershed is about one-fourth
agricultural and three-fourths rural and wooded. The surface waters of the
watershed supply the drinking water for the municipal system in Booneville. Ten
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 segment of Lower Buffalo Creek that only partially supports 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. No volunteer data were collected in this watershed in
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
Systems will let you download a free
[You may click the maps below to view them