Little Bear Creek Reservoir

Ecological health conditions in Little Bear Creek Reservoir rated at the upper end of the fair range in 2011. The reservoir rated fair all previous years except 2005, when it rated poor due primarily to a lower rating for chlorophyll.

TVA monitors one location on Little Bear Creek—the deep, still water near the dam—usually on a two-year cycle.

Ecological Health Indicators at Little Bear Creek Reservoir — 2011

Monitoring locationDissolved
oxygen
ChlorophyllFishBottom
life

Sediment
Forebay Poor Good Good Good Poor

Dissolved oxygen

As in previous years, dissolved oxygen rated poor. The lower half of the water column contained little oxygen (<2 mg/L) during the summer months.

Chlorophyll

Consistent with previous years, chlorophyll rated good in 2011. The exception was in 2005 when slightly elevated chlorophyll concentrations resulted in a fair rating for this indicator.

Fish

The fish community rated good. Fish community scores have consistently been at the upper end of the fair range to good.

Bottom life

Bottom life rated good. Ratings in previous years varied between fair and poor. Most of the animals collected in 2011 were those known to be tolerant of poor water quality conditions, but the higher abundance of organisms compared to other years, as well as the occurrence of some less tolerant individuals (i.e., Hexagenia mayflies), resulted in the first good rating for this indicator.

Sediment

Sediment quality rated poor. PCBs were detected for the first time and concentrations of arsenic, nickel and chromium were slightly above suggested background levels. Sediment quality rated good all previous years except 2001, when arsenic concentrations also exceeded suggested background levels and resulted in a fair rating.

Fish consumption advisories

Little Bear Creek Reservoir—TVA maintains a program to examine contaminants in fish fillets from TVA reservoirs and their major tributary streams on a rotational basis. The data collected from this program is distributed to the state officials who are responsible for placing or removing fish tissue consumption advisories on those bodies of water. For information on advisories currently in effect for Little Bear Creek Reservoir, visit the Epidemiology Division of Alabama Department of Public Health’s Web page.