Catholic Creek Watershed
Physical and Biological Characteristics
Catholic Creek Watershed (12,340 acres) is located in Nez Perce County. The stream is approximately 10 miles long, of which nine miles are within the Nez Perce Reservation. The headwaters are located in farmland east of Genesee, Idaho, and the creek flows southeasterly for six miles through a moderately steep walled canyon to its confluence with the Clearwater River one mile upriver from Spalding (river mile 11.5). Watershed elevations range from 825 feet to 2,930 feet. The lower two miles of the canyon are relatively wide and are utilized for various ranching activities. Riparian vegetation is scarce in the upper and lower reaches of the creek where agricultural activities are most intense, but relatively dense in the canyon reach. The dominant land use in Catholic Creek watershed is agriculture (60% cropland), with areas of meadow/pastureland (26%). There are no coniferous forest lands.
The watershed contains steelhead/rainbow trout, speckled dace, and redside shiner.
Early studies indicate that Catholic Creek water quality is limited by extreme annual stream flow variation, low summer flow, eroding banks and lack of pool habitat (Fuller 1986). Fuller notes that Catholic Creek is subject to excessive grazing in the lower reaches and intensive agricultural activity in the headwaters. The middle section of the creek is within a steep canyon with well developed riparian vegetation. Upstream from the mouth, approximately 0.5 mile, the stream flows through a cattle enclosure and small ranch.
Land Use Map
Studies, Plans and Reports
No Reports available at this time