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Vernon Fork - Muscatatuck River

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The Vernon Fork Muscatatuck River watershed covers approximately 212 square miles in Southeast Indiana and is in Jackson and Jennings counties. The six subwatersheds included in the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report are Mutton Creek, Storm Creek, Sixmile Creek, Grassy Creek, Polly Branch, and Indian Creek.


IDEM has conducted numerous surveys of the Vernon Fork Muscatatuck River watershed, dating as far back as 1992 with sampling on Crosley Lake. Fixed station monitoring has been conducted in the watershed since 1998. More extensive surveys of the watershed were conducted in 1993, 1997, 2002-2007, 2013, 2016, and 2017 by the probabilistic, targeted, and fish tissue monitoring programs in varying years. This includes two studies in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Impairments in the watershed include E. coli, dissolved oxygen (DO), biological communities, and mercury (for fish tissue). Potential pollution sources in the watershed include nonpoint sources from agricultural lands and pastures, rural run-off, wildlife, as well as point sources from straight pipe discharges and home sewage treatment systems.

Parameters Addressed

IDEM will complete a comprehensive sampling program in the watershed that will be based on the current impairments. A total of 24 sites will be assessed for general chemistry, nutrients, habitat, and fish and macroinvertebrate communities. A comprehensive list of all parameters is referenced in the approved work plan.


A virtual public kickoff meeting will be held to introduce the project and solicit input on October 27, 2020 at 2:00PM (EST).

The TMDL Report

  • The TMDL Report is to be completed by Autumn 2022

Watershed Characterization Monitoring 2020-2021

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