Watershed Implementation Plan for Lake Vermilion and the North Fork Vermilion River
The Lake Vermilion Watershed encompasses approximately 295 square miles, or 188,950 acres in mostly Vermilion County, but also Iroqouis County, IL, as well as Warren and Benton Counties, Indiana. 94% of the watershed is characterized as cropland or pasture. Cities and towns included in the watershed are Alvin, Bismarck, Hoopeston, Rossville, and the northern part of Danville, Illinois, and Ambia, Indiana. Lake Vermilion was originally created in 1925 as a reservoir and recreational lake through the construction of a dam across the North Fork Vermilion River. The lake level was raised in 1991 to increase its holding capacity, and now spans 878 acres. The lake supplies drinking water to the city of Danville, and the Villages of Tilton, Catlin, Westville, and Belgium, as well as to surrounding unincorporated areas. This was approximately 61,500 people in 2008.
The Lake Vermilion Water Quality Coalition (LVWQC) was formed in 1992 in response to high nitrate levels. They sponsor crop demonstrations, watershed tours demonstrating conservation practices, and various educational workshops. The Vermilion County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Pheasants Forever have installed conservation practices throughout the watershed. By 2008, and in partnership with the EPA, they had installed 14,000 feet of terraces, 7.5 acres of waterways, and 1.5 acres of tree plantings to reduce siltation and nutrient and pesticide transport. They also installed a cover crop demonstration site and have led conservation tours. The U.S. EPA provided $730,213 in CWA Section 319 funding to implement BMPs between 1997-2012, with project partners providing $565,702 in matching funds, all totaling almost $1.3 million dollars. The Vermilion County SWCD and a watershed planning committee created a Watershed plan in 2008.