2.7.29. Trout River

2.7.29.1. About the Trout River

Figure 2.58 The Trout River Tributary (WBIDs 2203/2203A/2223) with sanitary sewer overflows reported by JEA in 2019 (JEA 2019b).
Figure 2.58 The Trout River Tributary (WBIDs 2203/2203A/2223) with sanitary sewer overflows reported by JEA in 2019 (JEA 2019b).
  • North of downtown Jacksonville
  • Primary Land Use: Residential/Wetland
  • Current TMDL reports:
    Fecal coliform with BMAP (2010)
    DO/Nutrients (2203B), Mercury
  • 2016 Verified Impairment for Chlorophyll-a (2203A)
  • Beneficial Use: Class III F/M (2203A, 2203B Recreational – Marine; 2203, 2223 Recreational – Freshwater)

2.7.29.2. Data sources

Result data were downloaded from the FL STORET and WIN websites (DEP 2010f; DEP 2018c) and filtered based on the stations (DEP 2010g) in the Trout River WBIDs 2203 (freshwater), 2203A (marine), 2203B (marine), and 2223 (freshwater) (DEP 2014c) shown above. The filtered dataset reflects water column concentrations and was used to Table 2.29.

2.7.29.3. Discussion

Water quality data for the Trout River are shown in Table 2.29. Historically, overall (all WBIDs) average phosphorus levels were higher than the recently updated WQC (DEP 2015c; DEP 2016e; DEP 2016k). Average total phosphorus concentration from 2017 to 2019 were close to or higher than the WQC, with approximately one-third of the individual measurements from 2018 and 2019 exceeding the WQC.  Dissolved oxygen concentrations were within acceptable limits and improved in 2018 and 2019. Nutrient levels have been found to be, on average, higher than the WQC for WBID 2203 and a TMDL report to address this issue was published in 2009 (Magley 2009a). The Trout River has been listed as impaired for chlorophyll-a, and FDEP considers it a medium priority to develop a TMDL to address chlorophyll-a levels (DEP 2016j). Average chlorophyll-a levels in the marine portion of the Trout River exceeded the WQC in 2019, with more than half of the individual measurements exceeding the WQC.

The fecal coliform level, averaged over all the stations in the Trout River (Table 2.29), has been higher than the WQC of 400 colony-forming-units (CFU) per 100 mL.  A TMDL for fecal coliform was published in 2009 (Wainwright and Hallas 2009c) for WBIDs 2203 and 2203A in the Trout River. (Note: the data analyses in the TMDL are based on different criteria than that used in this report). Subsequently, a BMAP for the Trout River (DEP 2010a) was legally adopted in August 2010. It describes sources of fecal coliform in the watershed, and completed and ongoing activities conducted by state and local agencies that are anticipated to reduce fecal coliform loading in the tributary. The BMAP describes two WBIDS: the middle Trout River (2203), and the lower Trout River (2203A). Additional information about fecal coliform in the tributaries can be found in Section 2.6 and Table 2.2.

Annual Progress Reports for this BMAP were published annually between 2011 and 2016, listing repairs, inspections, evaluations, and other improvements conducted by JEA, the Duval County Health Department, COJ, and FDOT. In the 2016 Annual Progress Report, 32% of lower Trout River fecal coliform measurements over a 7.5 year period ending June 30, 2016 exceeded the water quality criterion (400 CFU/100 mL) (DEP 2017c). While the lower Trout River remains impaired for fecal coliform, the size of the exceedances has decreased since implementation of the BMAP; the median exceedance decreased from 1,000 CFU/100 mL in the TMDL report to 721 CFU/100 mL in the first phase of the BMAP (2010-2014) (DEP 2016c). As of 2016, there were 42 projects either planned or currently underway by COJ, JEA, and FDOT to address the BMAP in the Trout River watershed (DEP 2017c). Average fecal coliform levels have decreased the past three years, and the average fecal coliform level in 2019 was lower than the WQC.  Fecal coliform remains a challenge, however, as more than a quarter of the individual measurements from 2019 exceeded the WQC. In 2018, FDEP piloted microbial source tracking strategies in selected impaired waterbodies. They found that the strategies used could be used to narrow down areas suspected of containing sources that actively contribute fecal indicating bacteria to water in order to identify and remediate them, but this work is resource-intensive. WBID 2203B of the Trout River was suspected to have sources of untreated human waste present, and the source of fecal coliform in WBIDs 2203 and 2203A were unknown (DEP 2019a).

The Trout River (lower reach) was identified as being impaired for mercury based on elevated levels of mercury in fish tissue; however, this is being delisted (DEP 2016h), as it has been addressed by the statewide mercury TMDL (DEP 2013c).

Historical water quality data for the Trout River are available in previous versions of the River Report.

Table 2.29 Water quality data for the Trout River.

 Water QualityAverage and Number of Samples º
ParameterCriteria201720182019
Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L)≥34% sat. (≥3.0) FW4.67
(2 of 7 samples)
7.04
(0 of 25 samples)
6.43
(0 of 18 samples)
≥4.0 SW4.83
(4 of 12 samples)
6.67
(2 of 33 samples)
6.14
(3 of 33 samples)
Total Nitrogen (mg/L)<1.541.06
(0 of 10 samples)
0.91
(0 of 35 samples)
0.99
(4 of 38 samples)
Total Phosphorus (mg/L)<0.120.12
(2 of 6 samples)
0.11
(12 of 38 samples)
0.12
(14 of 38 samples)
Chlorophyll-a (µg/L)<20 FWNot available0.98
(0 of 24 samples)
1.27
(0 of 16 samples)
<5.4 SW7.45
(2 of 6 samples)
4.73
(0 of 13 samples)
10.45
(12 of 17 samples)
Arsenic (µg/L)≤50Not available0.63
(0 of 15 samples)
1.30
(0 of 11 samples)
Cadmium (µg/L)≤0.3 FWNot available0.01
(0 of 15 samples)
0.01
(0 of 5 samples)
≤8.8 SWNot availableNot available0.04
(0 of 6 samples)
Copper (µg/L)≤9.3 FWNot available0.75
(0 of 15 samples)
0.28
(0 of 5 samples)
≤3.7 SWNot availableNot available1.23
(0 of 6 samples)
Lead (µg/L)≤3.2 FWNot available0.80
(0 of 15 samples)
0.22
(0 of 5 samples)
≤8.5 SWNot availableNot available0.75
(0 of 6 samples)
Nickel (µg/L)≤52 FWNot available0.59
(0 of 15 samples)
0.25
(0 of 5 samples)
≤8.3 SWNot availableNot available1.21
(0 of 6 samples)
Silver (µg/L)≤0.07 FWNot available0.01
(0 of 15 samples)
0.01
(0 of 5 samples)
≤0.92 SWNot availableNot available0.02
(0 of 6 samples)
Zinc (µg/L)≤120 FWNot available11.83
(0 of 15 samples)
6.5
(0 of 5 samples)
≤86 SWNot availableNot available12.5
(0 of 6 samples)
Fecal Coliform (CFU/100 mL)<4001500
(2 of 3 samples)
820
(10 of 34 samples)
330
(11 of 39 samples)
Turbidity (NTU)<295.90
(0 of 6 samples)
4.72
(0 of 37 samples)
4.43
(0 of 34 samples)
Note: Hardness-dependent freshwater criteria for cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc were generated based on a hardness concentration of 100 mg/L.
° = Number of samples below Water Quality Criteria for Dissolved Oxygen; Number of samples above Water Quality Criteria for all other parameters.
FW = freshwater; SW = saltwater (marine). Values denoted with (*) indicate a proposed criterion, which has not yet been adopted.
Values denoted with (‡) are reference values based on EPA criteria (EPA 2010b), but the water body is not regulated by this standard.