Squaw Creek - Sediment
H.U. 635.20

Squaw Creek is located in an 8.2 square mile alpine watershed approximately six miles northwest of Lake Tahoe in Placer County between Tahoe City and Truckee. The creek was placed on the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) list of impaired waters in 1992. Water quality objectives addressed in the Squaw Creek TMDL pertain to sediment, settleable materials, suspended materials and turbidity. The beneficial uses most sensitive to excessive sedimentation are those related to cold, freshwater aquatic life habitat. Information from a variety of sources indicates that, in comparison with other streams in the Truckee River Basin with similar characteristics and less watershed disturbance, the water quality and beneficial uses of Squaw Creek have been adversely affected by various environmental stressors, including excess sediment delivery from developed land uses in the watershed.

 In-stream impacts include degraded benthic macroinvertebrate communities and evidence of diminished physical habitat for aquatic life. The information suggests that historical and current land uses, stream channel modifications, soil disturbance in naturally erosion-prone areas and diminished stream flows are all contributing factors to the degraded conditions for aquatic habitat in Squaw Creek. Although factors other than excessive sedimentation may also be affecting aquatic communities in Squaw Creek, this TMDL focuses on sediment, the pollutant for which the creek is listed under Section 303(d). It does not address other factors that may be affecting beneficial uses. The loading capacity and allocations were developed based on estimated levels needed to meet water quality objectives and protect sensitive beneficial uses.

  • The designated beneficial uses of Squaw Creek are:
  • Municipal and Domestic Supply (MUN)
  • Agricultural Supply (AGR)
  • Groundwater Recharge (GWR)
  • Water Contact Recreation (REC-1)
  • Non-Contact Water Recreation (REC-2)
  • Commercial and Sport fishing (COMM)
  • Cold Freshwater Habitat (COLD)
  • Wildlife Habitat (WILD)
  • Rare and Endangered Species Habitat (RARE)
  • Migration of Aquatic Organisms (MIGR)
  • Spawning, Reproduction and Development (SPWN)
  • Water Quality Enhancement (WQE)
  • Flood Peak Attenuation/Flood Water Storage (FLD)]

Available Documents

Implementation Documents

Background Documents