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Watersheds of Illinois - 1996

15. Spoon River Watershed

Locator MapThe Spoon River Watershed covers 1,180,967 acres in Bureau, Henry, Stark, Knox, Warren, Peoria, Fulton, and McDonough counties. The largest cities in the watershed are Fulton (3,698) and Lewistown (2,572). Major streams which comprise the Spoon River Watershed include the Spoon River, West Fork Spoon River, East Fork Spoon River, Indian Creek, Walnut Creek, Court Creek, Haw Creek, Cedar Creek, Shaw Creek, Coal Creek, and French Creek. A total of 956 stream miles were assessed in the Spoon River Watershed. Overall resource quality is "good" on 769 stream miles (80%), and "fair" conditions exist on 187 stream miles (20%). The primary causes of water quality problems are nutrients and siltation attributed to agriculture, hydrologic/habitat modifications, and municipal point source pollution. A total of 10 lakes covering 1,339 acres were also assessed in the watershed. Overall resource quality is "good" on 1,089 acres (81%) and "fair" on 250 acres (19%). The primary causes of water quality problems are priority organics, nutrients, siltation, and noxious aquatic plants attributed to land disposal, agriculture, and contaminated sediments (sediment and/or phosphorus attached to sediment particles).

Spoon River

The Spoon River (DJ) is located in west central Illinois. and drains approximately 1,855 square miles before flowing into the Illinois River north of Havana, Ill. A total of 149 stream miles were assessed on the Spoon River. Fifty-eight stream miles were rated as "good." This good water quality supported a diverse fish and macroinvertebrate community. The remaining 91 stream miles were rated as "fair." The primary cause of water quality problems is siltation attributed to agriculture and hydrologic/habitat modifications.

West Fork Spoon River

A total of 22 stream miles were assessed on the West Fork Spoon River (DJO). The river was found to have "good" overall resource quality. No causes or sources of pollution have been identified as impacting West Fork Spoon River.

Big Creek

A total of 28 stream miles were assessed on Big Creek (DJB). The stream was found to have a "fair" overall resource quality. Causes for this rating were nutrients and siltation in the creek due to municipal point source pollution, agriculture, and resource extraction (coal mining).

Lake Bracken

Lake Bracken (SDZA), located in Knox County, is a multiple-ownership lake managed by Lake Bracken Country Club. Lake Bracken was formed in 1921 by the damming of Brush Creek. It has a surface area of 172 acres and receives its water from a 5,700 acre watershed. The overall resource quality of Lake Bracken is considered "fair." Causes of pollution to the lake include priority organics, nutrients, noxious aquatic plants, and organic enrichment (low dissolved oxygen levels). Sources of pollution include hazardous wastes, agriculture, and land disposal. Lake Bracken is a former Superfund site that has been reclaimed and declared safe by the U.S. EPA.

Snake Den Hollow

Snake Den Hollow (UDU), located in Knox County, is owned by the state of Illinois and managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Snake Den Hollow was created in 1978 when a strip mine was dammed and allowed to fill. The lake is 142 acres and has a watershed of 1,390 acres. The overall resource quality of Snake Den Hollow is considered "good." No causes or sources of pollution have been identified as impacting Snake Den Hollow.

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