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Tobacco River TMDL Planning Area

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Tobacco TMDL Planning Area 2014 TMDL Project


Page Contents: 



Streams & TMDLs Included in this Project


Three total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) were written for this project  in 2014. A temperature TMDL was  written for Fortine Creek, and two nutrient TMDLs were written for Lime Creek (see Table 1 and Map 1 below). Click on the stream names in the table to view water quality summaries and to link to their full water quality assessment records.


Table 1: TMDLs Written in 2014

Waterbody & Location Description

(Click on Name to View Assessment Summary)

TMDL(s) Being Written

Fortine Creek

Headwaters to mouth (Grave Creek)


Lime Creek

Headwaters to mouth (Fortine Creek)

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus



Project Location


Fortine and Lime Creeks are located in the Tobacco River watershed, predominately located in Lincoln County, with a small section of the Lime Creek drainage located in Flathead County (Map 1). The Tobacco River watershed is part of the Upper Kootenai 4th code hydrologic unit (17010104) and drains approximately 440 mi2. The Tobacco River forms at the confluence of Grave and Fortine Creeks and flows into Lake Koocanusa. It is located between the Kootenai River on the west and the Whitefish Mountain Range on the east.


Map 1: Location of the Tobacco River Watershed and Fortine and Lime Creeks

(Click on map to enlarge)

Map of the Tobacco River watershed



Nutrient & Temperature TMDL Document


The "Tobacco Planning Area Nutrient and Temperature TMDLs and Water Quality Improvement Plan" was approved by the U.S. EPA Region 8 Office in Denver on September 18, 2014 and is available on DEQ's Final TMDL Documents webpage. A copy of the final document is also available at the Eureka public library. 


A public meeting was held Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at the Lincoln Electric Cooperative Building in Eureka. Lisa Kusnierz, the project manager, gave a presentation, discussed the temperature TMDL for Fortine Creek and the nutrient TMDLs for Lime Creek, and answered questions. The presentation (2.33 MB) from the meeting is available for viewing.




Previous TMDL Projects & Completed TMDLs


DEQ divided the watershed into two TMDL planning areas: Tobacco and Grave Creek (Map 1 above). Sediment TMDLs were previously completed in both of these planning areas. Table 2 provides a list of the streams with sediment TMDLs and links to their associated documents.


Table 2: Prior TMDL Projects & Completed TMDLs in the Tobacco River Watershed 


Planning Area

Waterbody & Location Description

(Click Waterbody Name to View Map)*



Document Name & Completion Year

Grave Creek

Grave Creek

Foundation Creek to mouth (Fortine Creek)


2005 “Grave Creek Watershed Water Quality and Habitat Restoration Plan and Sediment Total Maximum Daily Loads


Deep Creek

Headwaters to mouth (Fortine Creek) 


2011 “Tobacco Planning Area Sediment TMDLs and Framework Water Quality Improvement Plan”

Edna Creek

Headwaters to mouth (Fortine Creek) 


Fortine Creek

Headwaters to mouth (Grave Creek) 


Lime Creek

Headwaters to mouth (Fortine Creek) 


Sinclair Creek

Confluence of un-named tributary,

Lat -114.945 Long 48.908, to mouth (Tobacco River)


Swamp Creek

Headwaters to mouth (Fortine Creek)


Therriault Creek

Headwaters to mouth (Tobacco River) 


Tobacco River

Confluence of Grave Creek & Fortine Creek to mouth (Lake Koocanusa) 


* Google Chrome does not properly display maps on DEQ’s interactive mapper and we suggest that you use a different web browser


Information on Restoration Projects

Land management activities that may improve water quality in the Tobacco River watershed and a monitoring strategy to evaluate progress toward attainment of waters quality standards are outlined Section 6.0 of the Tobacco document and Sections 7.0 through 9.0 in the Grave Creek document. If you would like learn about or become involved with monitoring and restoration projects in the area, contact the Kootenai River Network, a non-profit organization that works to create partnerships with private and public interests dedicated to the protection, use, restoration, and education of water resources in the Kootenai River watershed, which includes the Tobacco River watershed.


Information on possible funding to implement water quality improvement projects and simple steps that can be taken to prevent pollution, can be found on DEQ’s Nonpoint Source Program webpage. Contact Eric Trum (etrum@mt.gov or 406-444-0531) or Robert Ray (rray@mt.gov or 406-444-5319) for additional information or technical assistance with project planning.


Project Contacts


Lisa Kusnierz is the project manager. She can be reached at Kusnierz.Lisa@epa.gov or (406) 457-5001


Lisa is with the Montana Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Helena; however she is working collaboratively with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.


Click on the Adobe icon if you need to download the free Adobe Acrobat software in order to view the documents on this page.



Page Created: July 23, 2009

Last Updated: July 31, 2015