Blackwood Creek - Sediment
H.U. 634.20

Blackwood Creek is a tributary of Lake Tahoe, located in the central portion of the North Tahoe Hydrologic Area (HA No. 634.20). The creek was first listed as an impaired water body on the 303(d) list in the “305(b) Water Quality Report for Water Years 1988 – 1989” (State Water Resources Control Board, 1990). The listing was based on known sedimentation problems associated with instream gravel mining in the 1960s and almost 100 years of grazing and logging.  Results from recent watershed assessment work (Swanson, 2003) indicate that Blackwood Creek's bedded (bedload) sediment load exceeds that expected for the watershed. Studies also indicate that additional instream restoration activities are needed to restore beneficial uses. Water quality standards include designated beneficial uses of water and narrative and numeric water quality objectives (WQOs) established to protect those uses. Chapter 2 of the Basin Plan contains definitions of the beneficial uses assigned to waters in the Lahontan Region. The designated beneficial uses of Blackwood Creek are:

  • Cold Freshwater Habitat (COLD)
  • Commercial and Sport fishing (COMM)
  • Migration of Aquatic Organisms (MIGR)
  • Municipal and Domestic Supply (MUN)
  • Water Contact Recreation (REC-1)
  • Non-Contact Water Recreation (REC-2)
  • Spawning, Reproduction and Development (SPWN)
  • Wildlife Habitat (WILD)

The beneficial uses of particular concern are those related to aquatic and riparian habitat (COLD, SPWN, WILD), because those appear to be most sensitive to excessive sedimentation.


Available Documents