Salamonie River (Upper) WMP 3-122
The Salamonie River has its origins near Salamonia, IN, close to the Indiana-Ohio border in Jay County, Indiana, and flows approximately 60 miles before discharging into the Wabash River near Lagro, IN in Wabash County. Of the 358,375 acre 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) Salamonie watershed (05120102), nearly half is considered the Upper Salamonie River watershed (USRW). The upper watershed is located in east central Indiana and includes two 10-digit HUCs; 0512010202 (East Creek-Salamonie River) and 0512010201 (Brooks Creek-Salamonie River). In the Upper Salamonie watershed, 456 miles of rivers, streams and ditches drain 161,949 acres of mixed landuse consisting mainly of row crop agriculture and pasture. The watershed drains major sections of Jay and Blackford counties, and a small portion of Wells County.
Sampling data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and IDEM starting in 2009 found high levels of nutrients (causing harmful algal blooms in the Salamonie Reservoir) as well as other pollutants in the watershed. In 2012 toxic algal blooms attracted media attention when two dogs were reported to have died after swimming in the reservoir. Several reaches of the USRW are on the IDEM 303(d) List of Impaired Waterbodies for E. coli, chlorides, and impaired biotic communities. These findings prompted the Jay County Commissioners, in cooperation with the Jay County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), to begin looking at the problems and searching for methods to address these issues. After discussions with IDEM, the Commissioners applied for and received a Section 319 grant to develop a watershed management plan (WMP) for the Upper Salamonie River watershed.
The WMP is a strategy for achieving water-quality goals by characterizing the watershed, setting goals and actions steps, and developing an implementation plan to address documented problems. The grant was approved in November of 2013, and the final Upper Salamonie River WMP was approved in January 2016.