Tyler Forks TWA 2014 (B) Kleist (Project 3)

Purpose

The Tyler Forks Watershed, in part, contains an iron ore deposit that is currently being explored for the construction of an open pit iron mine. A portion of the Upper Bad River Watershed is included in the exploration area. A watershed project was conducted in 2012 and 2013 to characterize the surface waters in the Tyler Forks watershed and a few waters in the Upper Bad River watershed. The data from these projects are currently being analysed for the preparation of a watershed report to be completed in early 2014. Considerable environmental data is needed to adequately review any future mining proposals in the area to prepare an environmental impact statement as well as provide department regulatory staff with necessary water resource information. This project is not intended to provide enough informmation to prepare an EIS but will continue to gather and expand baseline data about the surface waters in the area. The project area is remote with limited road access. During field surveys in 2012-2013 several unmapped waterways were identified in and around the proposed mining site. Additional biological surveys are needed to describe these resources. Other mapped and remote waterways remain to be surveyed. The intent of this project is to survey (as many as possile) the unmapped water resources near the proposed iron mine and to expand the project area to include more waterways in adjacent watersheds to gather background biological and chemistry data for a baseline comparison. This includes sites in the Tyler Forks, Upper Bad, and Potato River Watersheds. The project site selectiosn may change as the department receives more information about monitorring activities proposed by the consultant hired by the mining company.

Objective

The Upper Bad, Lower Bad, Tyler forks, and Potato River watersheds have limited biological and chemistry data available. The available data have expanded recently through survey work by the fisherieis and water quality program staff. However gaps in field data remain. Considerable baseline water quality and resource information is necessary to describe the project area. This information will be used to review any mining permit requests. The information will also be useful in characterizing baseline conditions and verifying the natural community model.

Outcome

Possible future monitoring for 303(d) or ERW/ORW status, use of information for making management recommendations, updating waterbody and watershed narratives in WATERS and use in watershed planning. The project data will be summarized in a report and entered into swims. The data will be used to make permitting decisions and in the preparation of an EIS if necessary.

Study Design

The chemistry monitoring from previous years is proposed to be modified in site selection and fequency. The chemical sampling is changed to much greater frequency and fewer sites to try to establish variability within the area.Two Sites will be sampled 18 times a year; monthly January - April and November-December. Sampling is proposed 2 times a month for May-October Sampling will include, Nutrients, Trace Metals, Low Level Hg, Chloride, Sulfate etc. The same constituents that have been analysed in the 2012-2013 projects. The prposed sites are Tyler Forks River at STH 77 and Devils Creek US of its confluence with Ballou Creek. These sites were selected to be representative a small headwater streams and a larger river. Fish Surveys (30) will be conducted, perhaps more throughout these watersheds. 20 bug samples will be collected thoughout the watersheds. Approximatley 20 temperature probes will be deployed within the targeted watersheds, sites TBD. Continuing shared funding with USGS for the Gage Station at Stricker road is included.

Related Reports

Run Project Summary Report
View Umbrella-Projects
View Related-Projects

Targeted Watershed Approach
Evaluation (TP SSC, Stressor, Bioassess)
North_TWA_3_2014
2014
Report In Development
 
Reports and Documents
NOR_14_CMP14 status 10 13 2016
 
Activities & Recommendations
Monitor or Assess Watershed Condition
Monitor Aquatic Biology
Monitor Baseline Survey
Navigability Determination