Pine Creek Watershed

Physical and Biological Characteristics

Pine Creek Watershed (14,495 acres) is located in the northeast corner of Nez Perce County. It is a third order tributary to the Clearwater River and flows 14 miles in a south-easterly direction to its confluence at River Mile 18. The lower 2.5 miles of Pine Creek are within the Nez Perce Reservation. The stream arises in farmland adjacent to Leland, Idaho, and flows intermittently for about four miles before dropping into a moderately steep sided canyon.

Elevations range from 856 feet at the mouth to 2,800 feet in the uplands. The watershed is characterized by rolling plateaus with slopes of four to 30 percent and highly erodible silt-loam soil. Stream discharge is subject to extreme fluctuations with minimal stream discharge occurring from mid-April to September/October. At low summer flows, the stream is reduced to about seven miles in length. High volume runoff occurs during spring snowmelt and major rain-on-snow events.
The lower reaches and the uplands are mostly agricultural lands dominated by grasses and seasonal crops. The riparian areas along the lower reaches near the mouth are dominated by grasses, forbs and mixed wetland trees and shrubs. Forested riparian areas along flood plains typically support grasses, forbs, mixed broadleaf hydrophilic trees, shrubs, and western red cedar/grand fir. South to west facing slopes at lower elevations support ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir and lodgepole and other more xeric species. With increasing elevation and precipitation, forest stands generally become denser with more conifers including: Douglas fir, grand fir, western larch, western red cedar, and western white pine.
The watershed supports steelhead/rainbow trout, speckled dace and piute sculpin.


Studies, Plans and Reports

Water Quality Report (May 1986)
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Division of Environment Lewiston Field Office

Precipitation Data (1985)
Nez Perce Soil and Water Conservation District
The data shown in this report was collected for a watershed
restoration project which was implemented from 1985 to 1999. The data was
collected by landowners at several locations throughout the watershed. The
landowner names were removed from the data. Data is also compiled in a
spreadsheet format.

Pine Creek Watershed Project Final Report (December 2001)
State Agricultural Water Quality Program, Nez Perce County, Idaho

Crop Residue Erosion Rate Calculation (1993)
Nez Perce Soil and Water Conservation District

The data shown in this report was collected for a watershed
restoration project in the calendar year 1993. The data was collected by USDANRCS
conservationists. The landowner names were removed from the data.
Table 1 contains lentil residue measurements which were collected after fall
seeding. Measurements were taken using the string point method. Data
includes soil type, soil T value, crop, residue measurement, crop yield, tillage
Table 2 contains the erosion rate calculations using RUSLE.
Table 3 contains rotational erosion rate and RUSLE C value analysis.

Conservation Needs Assessment Survey Results (2010)
Nez Perce Soil and Water Conservation District

The Conservation Needs Assessment is a component of the Nez Perce Soil and Water Conservation
District’s (District) 2004 strategic plan. The project’s goal is to identify stakeholder perceptions
regarding natural resources within the Pine Creek watershed. This survey will be used as the
foundation for the development of a watershed plan.

Water Quality Status Report # 62 Agricultural Non-point Source Pollution Abatement Program (May 1986)
Department of Health & Welfare Division of Environment Boise, Idaho

A water quality study was conducted on Pine Creek from February 20, 1985 to February 23, 1986.
The objectives of that study were to: 1) determine baseline water quality of Pine Creek and its
tributaries; and 2) document the effects of storm runoff on water quality.