Department of Ecology News Release - August 15, 2014

Plan aims to improve quality of Yakima tributaries
Public comment period runs through Sept. 22

ELLENSBURG – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking input on a draft water quality improvement plan to reduce temperatures in certain portions of upper Yakima River tributaries.

Water that is too warm can cause stress and harm to fish. In many of the streams that connect to the upper Yakima River, warm summer water temperatures cause these streams to fall short of Washington’s water quality requirements. Several types of fish (such as salmon, steelhead and bull trout) use the upper Yakima River tributaries as important migration routes and as spawning and rearing areas.

This water quality improvement plan describes sources of warm water pollution in a water body, and how much heat the waters can accept and remain healthy.

The plan also offers solutions to reduce pollution. For instance, people can plant trees to create more shade to cool streams. Leaving more water in streams and preventing sediment from entering streams also can help reduce water temperatures in summer.  

The public is invited to comment on the plan, which can be reviewed online or in person at public libraries in Ellensburg, Cle Elum and Roslyn. You can also request that a copy of the plan be sent to you by calling 509-454-7860.

Send written comments by Sept. 22, 2014, to Jane Creech at:

A public workshop will be held Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, at 7 p.m. at the Hal Holmes Center, 201 N. Ruby St., Ellensburg.

More information is available on Ecology’s Water Quality program website.

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Contact:

Dieter Bohrmann, communications, 509-372-7954 @ecologyWA