Little Spokane/Middle Spokane - (WRIAs 55/57)
Grants awarded through June 2010
Approved Project and Phase 4 grants July 2011 - June 2012
$62,500 $230,000 – USGS Study of the Little Spokane
CURRENT STATUS – November 2011 The Little Spokane watershed planning group continues to be very active in implementing high priority elements of their Detailed Implementation Plan (PDF). The group qualified for full Phase 4 implementation funding and has been awarded a project implementation grant under the FY 12-13 watershed planning funding allocation to study the Little Spokane River. The study is being conducted by the USGS.
Watershed Planning in this watershed is part of a dual watershed planning area with the Middle Spokane Watershed, WRIA 57. Members of the planning group operate under a formal Memorandum of Agreement. In order to increase planning efficiencies, the Little/Middle Spokane group has also been coordinating with WRIA 56 – Hangman Creek Watershed in a Joint Watershed Implementation Team (WIT). This joint WIT also cooperates and coordinates with WRIA 54 on some projects and implementation activities.
The boards of commissioners from Spokane, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties adopted their final watershed plan in joint session in January 2006. The planning group approved the Phase 4 detailed implementation plan in February 2008.
Since plan adoption, the group has:
Instream flow status
Instream flows were set in 1976 for the Little Spokane River (Chapter 173-555 WAC). The planning group approved instream flow recommendations for the river at Barker Road and for aesthetic and recreational flows in the watershed plan. Further instream flow data collection was completed for the Middle and Lower Spokane River in May 2007.
The joint WRIA 54 and 55/57 instream flow work group collaborated on instream flow recommendations for the entire Spokane River, integrating the research from the recent studies with those completed in 2004 and during the Avista FERC relicensing process. The work group did not achieve consensus on minimum instream flows for the main stem Spokane River. However, they did agree upon control points to manage surface water and the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie aquifer The State Caucus recommendations for minimum instream flows were used as the foundation for conditions in the Section 401 water quality certification of the Avista hydroelectric dam relicense.
The State Caucus is developing recommendations for spring spawning flows and delineating the boundary of the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie aquifer that would be associated with a future instream flow rule. The workgroup met in 2010 to review new recommendations presented by the state caucus. Further discussions were postponed pending results of a spawning survey being conducted by Avista, and a court ruling on the Municipal Water Law case before the Supreme Court of Washington. The state caucus is conducting further review (Fall 2011) of its recommendations for instream flows based on the results of the Avista Spawning Survey.
Links, publications, studies, data
Please send additions or corrections to Chris Anderson, (360) 407-6634.
WRIA 55-57 Status
Lead agency contact
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