freshwater monitoring

Freshwater Monitoring

Using River and Stream Flow Data

The map-based application, the Flow Monitoring Network,  can provide nearly real-time data about streamflow and water quality for many rivers and streams in Washington State.

Find streamflow data from a map

The short video below shows how to navigate to information from nearly real-time river and stream monitoring stations around the state. Click on the map to the right to go straight to the map-based database.

Video Tutorial: Finding Freshwater Data
in the Flow Monitoring Network Application

Flow Monitoring Network has nearly real-time
river and stream data.

Find streamflow data by Water Resource Inventory Area

If you know the Water Resources Inventory Area or WRIA for your river or stream of interest, you can find data for monitoring stations in that area using the drop-down menu below. A WRIA is the area included in one watershed and that is inside of Washington State boundaries.

Select a Washington Watershed by Zip Code can help you find your WRIA name and number, as can this WRIA map. Once you know, use the drop-down menu below to go to your watershed's first station page in the Flow Monitoring Network application. From there, the listing under the map on the right-hand side of the page contains the stations in that WRIA.


Navigating streamflow station pages

Flow Monitoring Network station pages show current and archival data for all parameters collected at each station through automated equipment. These data are collected every 15 minutes and are transmitted by satellite to Ecology's computers every one or three hours, depending on the station.

Many pages also link to the Statewide Water Quality Monitoring Network application with long-term data from manually collected samples and summaries of water-quality data for those stations. Learn more about these data in River and Stream Water Quality Monitoring.

The following information should help you to find data in the Flow Monitoring Network station pages. See the video above if you need more help, or Contact Us.

Station Details box

In the Station Details Box, details include the station’s GPS location and contact information for the staff member responsible for the station.

Water Resource Inventory Area map

On the right side of the page is a map of the Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) or watershed. In the map are icons for other stations maintained in this same WRIA. These stations are also listed below the map. To review multiple sites within the WRIA, click the icon on the map or click the station name directly from the list. To review historical stations in the WRIA (those that have been discontinued due to project duration or budget reduction), check the box to “show historical” gages. These historical stations will appear on the map and in list form denoted with an (h) after the station type. Below the map is also a WRIA drop-down list that you can use to easily navigate between WRIAs across the state.

Message box

Below the map and station details, you may see a light blue or yellow message box. These boxes contain warning messages that appear if the discharge record could be affected in some way, often by channel ice or the growth of aquatic plants. Some messages may note recent damage or vandalism, affecting the data for some parameter.

Parameter detail tabs

Click on tabs as pictured below to find all parameters collected at this location. The "General" tab usually contains a station photo and station description. Other tabs reveal data for other water-quality parameters. Not all sites are monitored for all types of data.

Each page that collects data displays a seven-day graph. This graph leads up to and ends with the present day. Through each day, the graph updates on 1-hour or 3-hour cycles, depending on the parameter. At midnight, the seven-day window moves forward one day.

If you have trouble understanding the graphs or need other assistance, contact us.