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Central Clark Fork Tributaries

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Saved by Jordan Tollefson
on October 25, 2013 at 10:58:46 am
 

Updated CWAIC link

Central Clark Fork Tributaries TMDL Project

 

Project Documents                    Project Outreach

Page Contents



Project Purpose

 

The state of Montana monitors its waters and conducts water quality assessments to determine if waterbodies are supporting their designated uses. All waterbodies in the Central Clark Fork Tributaries TMDL project area must be maintained suitable for aquatic life, drinking water, agricultural, industrial, and recreational uses. Waters that are determined not to be supporting their designated uses are called impaired and are placed on Montana’s list of impaired waters. Impaired waterbodies and their associated probable causes and sources of impairment are published within Montana’s biennial water quality integrated report.

 

Montana’s state law, and the federal Clean Water Act that was established by Congress in 1972, require development of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for all waterbodies impaired by a pollutant (e.g., metals, nutrients, sediment, temperature). A TMDL is the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards (think of a TMDL as a loading rate). TMDL development includes four main steps:

  • Characterizing the impaired waterbody’s existing water quality conditions and comparing those conditions to Montana’s water quality standards. During this step, measurable target values are set to help evaluate the stream’s condition in relation to the applicable water quality standards.
  • Quantifying the magnitude of the pollutant contribution from each significant source
  • Determining the total allowable load of the pollutant to the waterbody (the TMDL)
  • Allocating the total allowable pollutant load into individual loads for each significant source (referred to as load allocations for nonpoint sources and wasteload allocations for point sources)

 

The TMDL planning process for this project incorporates a combination of water quality sampling and hydrologic modeling to further identify and quantify metals, nutrient, sediment, and temperature contributions from all significant sources to the streams identified in the table below. For more information about the development of TMDLs, please see the What is a TMDL? page on this site or download our pamphlet: Understanding the TMDL Process.


Project Location and Included Streams

 

The Central Clark Fork Tributaries TMDL Project Area lies in Western Montana and is located in Missoula, Mineral, and Granite counties (see Map 1 below).  Population centers in the project area include the the towns of Superior, Alberton, Drummond, and the city of Missoula and surrounding area.

 

  Map 1: Location of the Central Clark Fork Tributaries TMDL Project Area in Montana

                                                 [Click on map to enlarge]

The Central Clark Fork Tributaries TMDL project area contains twelve tributaries to the Clark Fork River from the confluence with Flint Creek (near Drummond) to the confluence with the Flathead River (near Paradise/Plains) (Map 2). These twelve streams have been identified as water quality impaired for nutrients, sediment, and/or temperature, all requiring TMDLs. The streams included in this project are:  Dry Creek, Flat Creek, Grant Creek, Nemote Creek, Petty Creek, West Fork Petty Creek, Trout Creek, Cramer Creek, Deep Creek, Mulkey Creek, Rattler Gulch, and Tenmile Creek.

 

This project area is comprised of 2 TMDL planning areas (TPAs), the Middle Clark Fork TPA and the Clark Fork-Drummond TPA (Map 3). Table 1 below identifies the streams that are included in this project, as well as their probable causes of impairment as identified in the “2012 Water Quality Integrated Report.” Metals impairments for the Clark Fork River, Flat Creek, Hall Gulch, Wallace Creek, and Cramer Creek are addressed in separate documents (the Clark Fork River Metals TMDLs, and the Bonita-Superior Metals TMDLs).

 

    

Map 2: Central Clark Fork Tributaries Project Area & Included Streams                          

[Click on map to enlarge]

                         

 

Map 3: TMDL Planning Areas within the Central Clark Fork Tributaries Project Area

[Click on map to enlarge]


Project Plans

 

This project includes development of nutrients, sediment, and temperature TMDLs for the streams identified in Table 1 below. Details for each can be found below.

 

Nutrients

 

Sediment

In-stream fine sediment data and streambank erosion data was collected, and a survey of unpaved roads in the project area was conducted. Assessment reports of current sediment conditions in the streams, and sediment delivery from streambank erosion and unpaved roads are being drafted. An assessment of sediment contribution from upland sources is also being conducted using a water quality model (examples of upland sources include grazing lands and timber harvest areas, among others). Reports will be posted on the Central Clark Fork Tributaries Documents page for stakeholder review and comment.

 

Temperature

Temperature data loggers were placed at multiple locations in both streams to record stream temperature every half hour during the warmest months of the year. Stream flow and riparian shade data was also collected, including vegetation type and density and the amount of shade covering the stream channel. This information is being used in a water quality model to estimate thermal loads in both streams. A temperature assessment report will be posted on the Central Clark Fork Tributaries Project Documents page, once completed.

 

Table 1: Waterbodies and Pollutant Impairment Causes Included in this Project

TMDL Planning Area

Waterbody & Location Description

Nutrient Impairments 1

Sediment Impairments

Temperature Impairments

Changes to be made for the 2014 Assessment Cycle

Middle Clark Fork Tributaries

Cedar Creek

 

 

 

Delist TN, NO2+3

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

 

Dry Creek

X

 

 

Delist NO2+3

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

(TN)

Flat Creek

 

X

 

 

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

 

Grant Creek

X

X

X

List for TN

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

(TN, NO2+3)

Nemote Creek

X

 

X

Delist NO2+3

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

(TN, TP)

Petty Creek

 

X

X

 

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

Trout Creek

 

Turbidity

 

 

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

West Fork Petty Creek

X

X

 

Delist TN, NO2+3

Headwaters to mouth (Petty Creek)

(TP)

Clark Fork - Drummond

Cramer Creek

 

X

 

 

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

Deep Creek

X

X

 

Delist TN

Headwaters to mouth (Bear Creek)

(NO2+3)

Mulkey Creek

 

X

 

 

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

Rattler Gulch

X

X

 

 

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Fork River)

(TP)

Tenmile Creek

X

X

 

 

Headwaters to mouth (Bear Creek)

(TP)

1. Specific nutrient impairments are identified (TN = total nitrogen, TP = total phosphorus, NO2+3 = nitrite + nitrate as N)

 

Complete details about each waterbody's probable causes and sources of impairment can be found at DEQ's Clean Water Act Information Center. Click on "Search" and then choose the "By Location" tab. Select the TMDL Planning Area (TPA) drop-down list and then select "Clark Fork - Drummond" or "Middle Clark Fork Tributaries." Then click "Search." 

*Note that TMDLs are developed for “waterbody-pollutant combinations,” meaning a stream can have more than one TMDL. For example, a stream may be impaired for both nitrogen and phosphorus, and therefore will have both a nitrogen TMDL and a phosphorus TMDL.

 


Project Schedule

 

All TMDLs are scheduled to be complete before the end of 2014. For project status updates and information on stakeholder and public meetings, see the Central Clark Fork Tributaries Outreach page.


Project Contacts

TMDLs

Contact

Agency

Email

Phone

Project Coordinator

Jordan Tollefson

DEQ

jtollefson@mt.gov

(406) 444-5341

Project Manager: 

Sediment

Kristy Fortman

DEQ

kfortman@mt.gov

(406) 444-7425

Project Manager:

Nutrients

Lou Volpe DEQ lvolpe@mt.gov (406) 444-6742

Project Manager:

Temperature

Eric Sivers DEQ esivers@mt.gov (406) 444-0471

 


Page Released:  August 30, 2013

Last Updated:   October 25, 2013

 

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