Prairie Dog Creek Watershed
Prairie Dog Creek watershed consists of approximately 231,000 acres (360 square miles) located in central Sheridan County, in north-central Wyoming. Prairie Dog Creek originates in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains near Moncreiffe Ridge, northwest of Story, Wyoming. This ridge is located in the southwest corner of the watershed, less than a ½ mile above the headwaters of Prairie Dog Creek. The stream flows east until the confluence with Jenks Creek, where it turns north until it enters the Tongue River near the Montana border.
Major tributaries to Prairie Dog Creek include Meade, Jenks, SR, Jim, Arkansas, Coutant, Wildcat, and Dutch Creeks.
Prairie Dog Creek Watershed Plan
The Prairie Dog Creek Watershed Plan is under the direction of the Prairie Dog Creek Watershed Steering Committee 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).
Prairie Dog Creek is currently listed on the 303(d) list of waterbodies requiring TMDLs for E. coli bacteria impairments to recreational use and for manganese impairments for aesthetic drinking water use (discoloration taste, etc). The manganese impairments are attributed to natural sources and are not addressed in planning and improvement efforts.
The SCCD and watershed residents worked with WDEQ to finalize the Prairie Dog Creek Watershed Plan, which was approved in February 2011 and updated in 2016. Action items in the plan address implementation of the plan, water quality improvement, and awareness and education.
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.