South Fork Description
Beginning in the City of Peosta, the south fork, which is 11,318 acres, also encompasses parts of Dubuque County, Centralia, and the City of Dubuque. Primarily agricultural land consisting of row crops and pasture, this basin also includes some forested land, industrial, commercial, and residential areas. The South Fork creek starts with several cold water springs, meandering eastward until it empties into the Catfish Creek near Miller road in Dubuque.
Attractions in this watershed include Storybrook Hill Children’s Zoo, the Dubuque Sports Complex, and Roosevelt Park.
South Fork Impairments:
Typical to most watersheds where agricultural land use is present, high levels of nitrates often inundate the stream during the spring time. These levels contribute to the algae bloom we so often see in our nation’s streams. Nitrates use up the dissolved oxygen in the water, which living organisms use to breath. This may contribute to fish kills and other loss of habitat.
After a water quality study was done in 2009, all five forks of the Catfish Creek are currently being placed on the 303d impaired water bodies list for E-Coli.