Ohio River Tributary Watersheds: East

Ohio River Tributaries EastThe Ohio River tributaries (east) watershed is located in the eastern region of Ohio.  It drains a total of 2,454 square miles and flows through all or part of 11 counties.  Municipalities partially or fully in the watershed include Steubenville, Cadiz, Marietta and Belpre.

The watershed is predominantly comprised of forest with some areas of pasture and hay and occasional pockets of urban development.

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Captina Creek, McMahon Creek and Other Tributaries

Captina and McMahon CreeksMajor tributaries include McMahon Creek, Captina Creek, Short Creek, Sunfish Creek and French Creek.  Each of these tributaries flows into the Ohio River at various locations along the east-southeastern border of the state.  These five watersheds span the counties of Washington, Monroe, Belmont and Jefferson.  Land use in the area is predominantly forest (66%), pasture/hay (15.5%), developed land (10%) and cultivated crops (5%).

Though coal mining is prevalent in the area, one of the last remaining known reproducing populations of hellbenders in the United States is located in Captina Creek.

Hellbender 


The Ohio River tributaries that were studied in 2009 are located in eastern Ohio.  Five separate watersheds were studied during 2009.  The Ohio River tributaries are divided into five watersheds, as follows:

  • 05030106 07        McMahon Creek
  • 05030106 09        Captina Creek
  • 05030106 12        Short Creek – Ohio River
  • 05030201 01        Sunfish Creek
  • 05030201 10        French Creek – Ohio River

According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2024.

The TMDL report is in preparation.

There is no implementation information available at this time.


Cross, Short and Wheeling Creeks Watersheds

Cross, Short and Wheeling CreeksCross, Short and Wheeling Creeks are the largest tributaries in the study area and they flow into the Ohio River near Steubenville, Rayland, and Bridgeport, respectively.  The majority of the TMDL area is in Jefferson, Belmont and Harrison Counties, with smaller proportions in Columbiana and Monroe Counties.  Fifty-eight percent of the area is forested while pasture and cropland accounts for eighteen and eight percent of the area, respectively.  Open space to high intensity development account for about four percent while the remaining twelve percent of the land area is distributed across other land classifications.









Several tributaries to the Ohio River in southeast Ohio were studied during 2010.  The project area is divided into five subwatersheds, as follows:

  • 05030101 10        Salem Creek – Cross Creek
  • 05030101 11        King Creek – Ohio River
  • 05030106 02        Piney Fork – Short Creek
  • 05030106 03        Crabapple Creek – Wheeling Creek
  • 05030106 12        Short Creek – Ohio River

According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2025.

The TMDL report is in preparation.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Duck Creek Watershed

Duck Creek watershedThe Duck Creek watershed is located in southeastern Ohio, occupying portions of Noble, Washington, Monroe, and Guernsey counties.  The watershed is mostly rural with several small towns and a portion of the city of Marietta.













According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2020.

The Duck Creek Total Maximum Daily Load report (TMDL) was approved by U.S. EPA on September 23, 2003.  TMDLs identify and evaluate water quality problems in impaired water bodies and propose solutions to bring those waters into attainment.

Streams in the Duck Creek watershed are polluted by acid mine drainage, total suspended solids, habitat alteration, nutrient enrichment, and low dissolved oxygen.  The main sources of pollution are past mining activity, agricultural runoff, habitat alteration, and home sewage treatment system (HSTS) failures.  The TMDL recommends several actions to reduce the level of pollution, including remining, mining remediation, agricultural runoff controls, habitat protection, revegetation, and HSTS corrections.

There is no supplemental information available at this time.

There is no implementation information available at this time.

Leading Creek Watershed

Leading Creek watershedThe Leading Creek watershed drains approximately 150 square miles and flows into the Ohio River near Middleport.  The watershed is divided between three counties; a majority lies within Meigs County and small portions fall in Athens and Gallia counties.  The Leading Creek watershed faces several impairments from a variety of sources.  In the headwaters and upper portions of the watershed, agricultural activities are the primary source of impairment.  The lower portions of the watershed are mostly impaired from historic mining practices and acid mine drainage.









Data were collected by several parties for a variety of reports (available below in Supplemental Information).  According to the 2012 Integrated Report, this watershed will next be monitored in 2019.

The Leading Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report was approved by U.S. EPA on January 9, 2008.  TMDL reports identify and evaluate water quality problems in impaired water bodies and propose solutions to bring those waters into attainment with water quality standards.

TMDLs were calculated for three water quality parameters: total dissolved solids, total suspended solids, and chlorides.  There are additional water quality impairments in the Leading Creek watershed; however, data limitations prevented the development of TMDLs for nutrients, fecal coliform and pH values.  Some of the recommendations for improvement include enhanced treatment of discharge for total dissolved solids from the Meigs #31 Mine (where a large emergency release occurred in 1993); improved erosion and sediment control in all areas, including fencing livestock out of streams; and eliminating the bacteria problems caused by failing home sewage treatment systems.

TMDL Report

The following implementation projects have been completed in the watershed.

Other Ohio River Tributaries

Other Ohio River tributariesThis area includes multiple tributaries to the Ohio River along the southeastern border of Ohio.  Major tributaries include the Little Muskingum River and the Shade River.  Land use in the area is primarily comprised of forest, with more pasture and hay lands in the southern portion of the area.  Municipalities include Belpre, Pomeroy, Middleport and part of Marietta.












According to the 2012 Integrated Report, all or part of this area will next be monitored in 2015.

There is no TMDL information available at this time.

There is no supplemental information available at this time.

There is no implementation information available at this time.