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Brian Simonseth 10-25-2004 06:16 PM

Open House, Stillagaumish
 
Open House
Stillaguamish Stream-Flow Rule (WRIA 5)
Chapter 173-505 WAC
from Ecology’s Water Resources Program
The Department of Ecology (Ecology) is proposing to establish stream flows for the Stillaguamish River in Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA) 5, Chapter 175-505 WAC. The purpose of a stream flow is to protect and, where possible, enhance the quality of the natural environment. In addition, perennial rivers and streams of the state must be retained with base flows necessary to provide for the preservation of wildlife, fish, scenic, aesthetic and other environmental values.
Comments on the features and issues of the draft stream-flow rule may be sent to Ecology by December 10, 2004.
Background
The Stillaguamish River is not a WRIA where watershed planning is being conducted under chapter 90.82 RCW, but a great deal of work is being done related to salmon recovery under chapter 77.85 RCW. The stream flow work is being conducted by Ecology in cooperation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Tribes, and local government.
The Stillaguamish Implementation Review Committee, a salmon recovery group, is being advised to ensure that work on the proposed rule incorporates the instream flow analysis and recommendations into its salmon recovery strategy.
Stream-Flow Rule
The stream-flow rules will define the flows in the basin that need to be protected from future diversions or withdrawals. Stream flows are set to ensure adequate water remains in the river system to protect fish and other uses in a stream.
Ecology is looking at many factors that affect stream-flows. The new draft rule will help determine how water in the Stillaguamish basin ought to be allocated for future uses. The draft rule is intended to:
• Protect fish, wildlife, water quality, recreation and aesthetics in the watershed while also providing water for future human uses.
• Set minimum stream flows for the rivers and creeks in the Stillaguamish watershed.
• Protect water levels for lakes and ponds in the watershed.
• Reserve a certain amount of ground water for future home and small business use that won’t need a new water right permit.
• Set aside sufficient water for grazing livestock that in some cases will not need a water right permit.
• Create stricter standards for issuing new water rights in the basin.

Open house information
The public is invited to ask questions and provide comments about the concepts and issues the draft stream-flow rule is seeking to address
There will be two informal sessions conducted on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at Arlington’s Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum, 20722 67th Ave. N.E. The first public meeting will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. and the other from 7 to 9 p.m., with an open house from 5 to 7 p.m.
Comments regarding the features and issues for consideration in the draft Stillaguamish stream-flow rule should be sent by Friday, Dec. 10, to Steve Hirschey, Department of Ecology, 3190 160th Ave. S.E., Bellevue, Wash., 98008; e-mail: shir461@ecy.wa.gov and phone: 425-649-7066.
If you would like additional information on the open house, please call Judy Beitel at (360) 407-6878 or e-mail: jbei461@ecy.wa.gov.


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