Lower Skagit-Samish/Upper Skagit - WRIA 03 and 04
This page is being maintained as an
archive of past information and will not be updated.
Grant funds expended and/or projected through June 2015
The planning group wrote a draft watershed plan for the Samish Basin in
December 2004. However, it was never finished or voted on by the planning group,
which has disbanded.
The Skagit River Basin
Instream Resources Protection Program Rule (WAC 173-503) went into effect on
April 14, 2001. It established instream flows throughout the basin to
protect flow levels in streams. In 2006 the rule was amended to establish finite
“reservations” of surface and groundwater for future out-of-stream uses. The reservations provided uninterruptible (year-round) water supplies for new
agricultural, residential, commercial/industrial and livestock uses, distributed
among 25 subbasins.
On October 3, 2013, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that Ecology cannot
set aside reservations of water through adoption of water management rules where
water was previously set aside to support stream flows for fish. Without
water reservations, later water uses can be interrupted when dry spells impact
the protected stream flows. Ecology found in 2006 that limited
reservations would not substantially harm fish populations. The Swinomish
Tribe challenged the establishment of the reservations in 2008 and appealed a
Thurston County Superior Court finding in Ecology’s favor in 2010.
publications, studies, data
Please send additions or corrections to Chris Anderson, (360) 407-6634.