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Red Rock Watershed

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TMDL Development      Project Outreach

 


Page Contents



 

Project Overview

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) conducted water quality monitoring in the Red Rock River watershed from 2015 to 2018, has made impairment determinations, and is currently developing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for metals, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and sediment impairments. This page provides basic information on the project. Information on TMDL development, as well project announcements and meeting information can be found using the links at the top of this page.

 


 

Project Area Location and Description

The Red Rock River watershed (fourth-code HUC: 10020001) is located almost entirely in Beaverhead County, with a small portion in Madison County (Figure 1 below). The Red Rock River begins in the Centennial Mountains in southeastern Beaverhead County. It flows northwest through the upper and lower Red Rock Lakes and Lima Reservoir before draining into the Clark Canyon Reservoir. The Red Rock watershed also includes the drainages entering Clark Canyon Reservoir from the Beaverhead Mountains in the west. The Clark Canyon Reservoir ultimately drains into the Beaverhead River, a tributary of the Jefferson River.

 

The Red Rock watershed is in a sparsely-populated area of Montana, with approximately 62% of the area in public ownership by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This includes the Red Rock National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Refuge. The watershed is characterized by a variety of vegetation types, including extensive grasslands and wetlands at low elevations, sagebrush steppe at mid elevation, and Douglas fir, Engelmann spruce, and lodgepole pine at higher elevations. Marsh areas and pothole lakes also occur on gentle slopes at high elevations.

 

 Figure 1. Red Rock Project Location

(Click on image to enlarge)

 

 

 

Long Creek

 

Red Rock River

 


 

Red Rock Monitoring and Assessment

Monitoring to support beneficial use assessments occurred primarily from 2015 to 2018 by Montana DEQ, with sampling assistance from the Centennial Valley Association. Based on this monitoring, Montana DEQ identified stream segments in the Red Rock watershed as being impaired for multiple pollutants including metals, sediment, nutrients, and E. coli (a pathogen associated with livestock and human waste). Table 1 below shows these impairments.

 

Click on waterbody names/assessment units to view summaries of their water quality assessments; full assessment details can be accessed from the top of the linked summary page by clicking on “Detailed Assessment Report.” Note that TMDL development is not occurring for all impairments and waterbodies shown in the table. See the Red Rock TMDL Development page for details.

 

Table 1. Water Quality Impairments in the Red Rock Watershed

 

Waterbody (Assessment Unit) 

Assessment Unit ID 

Probable Impairment Causes (2020)1 

Bean Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock River)

MT41A004_140

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Flow Regime Modification,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Big Sheep Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock River)

MT41A003_150

Algae,

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Flow Regime Modification,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Bloody Dick Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Horse Prairie Creek)

MT41A003_100

Aluminum,

Lead,

Total Phosphorus

Cabin Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Big Sheep Creek)

MT41A003_030

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Total Phosphorus

Corral Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock Creek)

MT41A004_040

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

East Fork Clover Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Clover Creek)

MT41A004_050

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Fish Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Metzel Creek)

MT41A004_030

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Aluminum,

Chlorophyll-a,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Hell Roaring Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock Creek)

MT41A004_060

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers

Horse Prairie Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Clark Canyon Reservoir)

MT41A003_090

Flow Regime Modification,

E. coli,

Mercury,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Jones Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Winslow Creek)

MT41A004_130

Algae,

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Flow Regime Modification,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Little Sheep Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock River)

MT41A003_160

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Habitat Alterations,

Iron,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus

Long Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock River)

MT41A004_070

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Flow Regime Modification,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Lower Red Rock Lake

MT41A005_020

Flow Regime Modification,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Medicine Lodge Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Horse Prairie Creek)

MT41A003_010

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

E.coli,

Flow Regime Modification,

Iron,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation,

Temperature

Metzel Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock River)

MT41A004_020

Arsenic,

Total Phosphorus

Muddy Creek,

Confluence Sourdough and Wilson Creek to mouth (Big Sheep Creek)

MT41A003_020

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Arsenic,

Iron,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Nicholia Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Big Sheep Creek)

MT41A003_040

Aluminum,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus

O’Dell Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Lower Red Rock Lake)

MT41A004_080

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Peet Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock River)

MT41A004_090

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Arsenic,

Cadmium,

Copper,

E. coli,

Flow Regime Modification,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation,

Selenium

Price Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock River)

MT41A004_010

Flow Regime Modification,

Arsenic,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Red Rock Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Upper Red Rock Lake)

MT41A004_110

Sedimentation-Siltation

Red Rock River,

Lower Red Rock Lake to Lima Dam

MT41A001_020

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

E.coli,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation,

Temperature

Red Rock River,

Lima Dam to Clark Canyon Reservoir

MT41A001_010

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Flow Regime Modification,

Physical Substrate Alteration,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation,

Temperature

Sage Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Red Rock River)

MT41A003_140

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Total Nitrogen,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Selway Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Bloody Dick Creek)

MT41A003_110

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Tom Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Upper Red Rock Lake)

MT41A004_100

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Flow Regime Modification,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Trail Creek,

Headwaters to mouth (Horse Prairie Creek)

MT41A003_080

Alteration in stream-side or littoral vegetative covers,

Aluminum,

Total Phosphorus,

Sedimentation-Siltation

Upper Red Rock Lake

MT41A005_030

Flow Regime Modification,

Sedimentation-Siltation

1 Impairment causes identified in Montana’s 2020 Water Quality Integrated Report

 

 


 

Red Rock Project Contacts

Role

Contact

Organization

Phone

Project Coordinator & Sediment, and Metals TMDL Project Manager

Christy Meredith,

Water Quality Specialist

Montana DEQ

(406) 444-6824

E. coli TMDL Project Manager

Lou Volpe,

Water Quality Specialist

Montana DEQ

(406) 444-6742

Local Coordinator

Zach Owen,

Watershed Coordinator

Beaverhead Watershed Committee

(406) 683-3802

 


 

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Page Created: 3/26/21 

Last Updated: 7/15/21