Big Pine Watershed Past & Present. Presented to Warren County Natural Resources Community Forum, September 21, 2004 Brent Ladd Water Quality Specialist Purdue University. Big Pine Watershed Overview. Historical water quality and habitat references Recent water quality and stream flow data
Presented to Warren County Natural Resources Community Forum, September 21, 2004Brent LaddWater Quality SpecialistPurdue University
…It is a beautiful and valuable stream – the water generally perfectly clear & transparent – exhibiting a clean gravelly bottom – It abounds with Fish of various kinds – Bass Pickeral, Pike, Perch, Catfish.” Caleb Lownes, 1815.
Peak stream flow was highest during the late 1950’s, came down during the late sixties and seventies, then increased up until 1984 and then again dropped through 1987.
Daily mean stream flow appears “flashy” and with erratic differences between seasons.
Sections of Big Pine listed as impaired due to Mercury and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) leading to fish* consumption advisory.
One section near Pine Village (Brown ditch section) is listed with high pathogens and not supporting safe human contact.
*For 2004 IDNR lists Smallmouth Bass size 11 in. + due to PCB toxicity level for human consumption. In 1999 ISDH listed Black Redhorse (mercury), Channel Catfish (PCB), and Smallmouth Bass (PCB).
Some sections of Big Pine have been found to fully support aquatic life and full contact recreation.
Temperature: no change between 1970 and 1981
Nitrates: 1970 – 1976 around 25-35 ppm with spikes up to 60 ppm in early summer. High counts in winter months, too. Samples taken until 1981 show early summer counts remain around 30 ppm, but other months much lower than before.
Sediment, suspended, load in tons per day from 3 to 250 between 1979 and 1981. sampling for sediment then ended.
E. Coli (Indiana surface water standard is less than 125 cfu/100ml average for 10 grab samples) August, 1999 SR 55 at Attica. Range from 17 coliforms up to 43. At CR 200N/100E (near Fall Creek) range from 36 up to 270.
Habitat Score (QHEI) at Twin Bridges September 1991 was 67. At Mudlavia Springs in 1991 was 60, then in 1999 was 73. In headwaters (White County, Roudebush Ditch) the habitat score in 1999 was 41. (Fully supporting score is 64 +, not supporting is below 51).