Clarks Run and Hanging Fork WBPs are now posted to the website. Click Here to go to the downloads page, or click on the files below.


Clarks Run Watershed Based Plan

Hanging Fork Watershed Based Plan




All across Kentucky, there are many streams that flow into larger bodies of water, a central feature in Kentucky’s landscape. In fact, these streams surrounding land represent some of Kentucky's most valuable natural, cultural, and historical resources. They provide us with more than 100 kinds of fish native to our waters. And they provide recreational opportunities, such as swimming on the streams and rivers  of more than 4 million people.

When it rains, all the water falling to the land recharges the groundwater and stream flows.  This surrounding land is called a watershed. No matter where we live in Kentucky, we live in a watershed. Think about it! Every time it storms, the water runs off the land toward a stream. Anything on the ground—like pesticides, garbage, and trash—runs off the land with the water and eventually ends up in our streams, as well. According to the Kentucky Division of Water, many of Kentucky’s assessed streams and rivers are polluted to the point where they can no longer support swimming and fishing. Polluted water is usually caused by our activities on the land.

There are twelve major watersheds, or river basins, in Kentucky. The Dix River Watershed is located in the Kentucky River Basin.

The lower Dix River Watershed includes the western edge of Garrard County, part of northern Lincoln County, and eastern portions of Boyle and Mercer Counties. The land is characterized by undulating terrain and moderate rates of both surface runoff and groundwater drainage. Most of the watershed lies above thick layers of easily dissolved limestone. Groundwater flows through channels in the limestone, so caves and springs are common in regions with this geology.

The lower Dix River watershed includes the river itself from the mouth of Gilberts Creek, southwest of Lancaster, to the confluence with the Kentucky River near High Bridge. Herrington Lake makes up much of this stretch of the Dix River. Among the creeks that feed the river within this watershed are Hawkins Branch, Boone Creek, White Oak Creek, McKecknie Creek, Tanyard Branch, Cane Run, and Rocky Fork. The watershed also receives water from the Dix River (upper), Logan Creek, Hanging Fork Creek, Clarks Run, and Spears Creek & Mocks Branch watersheds.

Land in the watershed is 90% agricultural and 5% residential. The surface waters of the watershed supply the drinking water for the municipal system in Danville. Eleven businesses and organizations hold permits for discharges into the creeks.

Based on biological and/or water-quality data, the assessed river segments in this watershed comply with water quality standards for swimming and aquatic life. Herrington Lake, however, does not support aquatic life, as a result of reduced dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations; primarily this is a result of excessive nutrient enrichment from a variety of sources. Phosphorus levels in the Dix River alone are elevated enough to cause potential nutrient enrichment problems to the lake (> 0.1 mg/L). Excessive nutrients indirectly cause reduced dissolved oxygen in water when algae blooms begin to use more oxygen (through respiration and decomposition) than they produce during photosynthesis. See tables for details.

The upper Dix River watershed covers southern Garrard County, western Rockcastle County, and eastern Lincoln County. The land is characterized by undulating terrain, moderate to rapid surface runoff, and moderate rates of groundwater drainage. The watershed lies partly above fractured shales through which groundwater can easily move but which stores very little water.

The upper watershed of the Dix River includes the headwaters down to the mouth of Gilberts Creek just west of Gilbert (at US 27 between Lancaster and Stanford). Among the creeks that feed it are Negro Creek, Turkey Creek, Copper Creek, Fall Lick, Drakes Creek, Harmons Lick, Walnut Flat Creek, Cedar Creek, Stingy Creek, Turkey Creek, and Gilberts Creek.

Land in the watershed is 60% agricultural and almost 40% rural and wooded. Three businesses and organizations hold permits for discharges into the creeks.

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