Goose Creek Watershed

Goose Creek Watershed is located in north-central Wyoming and originates in the Big Horn Mountains west of Sheridan, Wyoming.  It encompasses 267,520 acres (418 square miles) within Sheridan County including the residential areas of Sheridan and Big Horn, several rural subdivisions, numerous ranches, and a section of the Bighorn National Forest (BNF).


The two largest tributaries within the Goose Creek Watershed are Big and Little Goose Creeks that originate in the Big Horn Mountains west of Sheridan, Wyoming and pass through the Bighorn National Forest (BNF), several ranches, rural subdivisions, and through the community of Big Horn and the City of Sheridan.  Near the center of Sheridan, Big and Little Goose Creek join to form Goose Creek.


Accessible to over 27,000 Sheridan County residents, these streams and their tributaries are used extensively throughout the year.   Local citizens of all ages commonly recreate on these streams, especially in Sheridan’s city parks and along recreational pathways.

Goose Creek Watershed Plan

The Goose Creek Watershed Plan is under the direction of the Goose Creek Watershed Steering Committee (TRWSC) and the Sheridan County Conservation District (SCCD) in partnership with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and funded in part by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

In the summer of 2008, WDEQ decided to move forward with the development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) on the Goose Creek watershed.  While the watershed plan addresses a broad set of water resource issues/needs, the TMDL was needed to provide a more quantitative, focused approach to address bacteria and sediment in the Goose Creek Watershed.  In September of 2010, the Goose Creek TMDL was completed.


The watershed planning process like the TMDL and the Goose Creek Watershed Management Plan have improved widespread local awareness about several important resource issues and has led to more public interest in the watershed.



The plan:

  • Identifies impaired waters within the project area;

  • Characterizes the subwatersheds within the project area;

  • Quantifies existing pollutant loads from previous monitoring efforts;

  • Develops estimates of the load reductions required to meet water quality standards;

  • And develops effective management action items to reduce pollutant loads. 

Goose Creek Watershed Documents