Geography. The South Fork Kentucky
River (upper) watershed occupies northeast Clay County, and southern Owsley
County. The land is in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field physiographic region,
characterized by mountainous terrain, rapid surface runoff, and moderate rates
of 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.
Waterways. The South Fork Kentucky River upper watershed includes the
section from Oneida to just south of Booneville (approximately that portion of
the river that flows through the Daniel Boone National Forest). Among the creeks
that feed it are Crane Creek, Right Fork Buffalo Creek, Left Fork Island Creek,
Lower Island Creek, Indian Creek, White Oak Creek, and Cow Creek. Water from the
Goose Creek, Red Bird River, Bullskin Creek, and Sexton Creek watersheds also
flows into this watershed.
Land and water use. Land in the watershed is mainly rural and wooded;
about 5% is agricultural. One school holds a permit for discharges into the
creeks. See tables for details.
Agency data assessment. The assessed creek segments in this watershed
include one that only partially supports its designated uses, based on
biological and/or water-quality data. Siltation and exotic species 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 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. The site at Bishops Branch showed elevated levels of
chromium in 1999. See tables for details.
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