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Cedar River Instream Flow Management. Balancing Certainty and Flexibility. Setting the Context: 5 LINKS--Headwaters to Sea. Cedar River Watershed HCP. Preserves and protects the upper 2/3 of the Cedar River basin

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cedar river instream flow management

Cedar River Instream Flow Management

Balancing Certainty and Flexibility

cedar river watershed hcp
Cedar River Watershed HCP
  • Preserves and protects the upper 2/3 of the Cedar River basin
  • Fish passage facilities to restore access for chinook, coho and steelhead into over 17 miles of habitat
  • Innovative sockeye hatchery supplementation program
  • Capital improvements throughout the Lake Washington Basin
  • Improved instream flow management program
  • Broad-based monitoring and research program
stream flow management protecting instream resources
Stream Flow Management:Protecting Instream Resources
  • Seattle’s water storage and diversion activities have a substantial effect on stream flows in the lower Cedar River
  • Stream flow is a key component of the aquatic/riparian ecosystem that supports salmon and many other species
  • Social values and species protection priorities change over time
  • The applied science of stream flow management is complex, relatively new, and continues to evolve
geographic overview
Geographic Overview
  • Storage reservoir receives run-off from the upper 43% of the basin
  • Approx. 20% of average annual flow diverted at the Landsburg Diversion Dam

5

complex array of objectives
Complex Array of Objectives
  • Protect all life stages of salmon
  • Provide sufficient flows to Lake Washington and the Ballard Locks
  • Minimize impacts to lake dependent species in Chester Morse Reservoir
  • Promote natural biophysical processes that shape and maintain the aquatic/riparian ecosystem
complex array of objectives8
Complex Array of Objectives
  • Protect all life stages of salmon
  • Provide sufficient flows to Lake Washington and the Ballard Locks
  • Minimize impacts to lake dependent species in Chester Morse Reservoir
  • Promote natural biophysical processes that shape and maintain the aquatic/riparian ecosystem
the hcp flow tool box
The HCP Flow Tool Box
  • Capital improvements to help protect fish
  • Detailed mngmt. prescriptions that protect the river and maintain municipal water supply capacity
  • Limitations on diversions to ensure flexibility to adapt and improve flow management
  • Continued monitoring and research
  • Commitment to apply research results
  • Collaborative oversight
capital improvements
Capital Improvements
  • SCL’s Cedar Falls hydropower facilities improved to protect fish and flows
  • Fish passage and water efficiency improvements at the Ballard Locks
  • Habitat protection/restoration in the lower river downstream of Seattle’s ownership boundary
prescriptions for real time management
Prescriptions for real-time management
  • Guaranteed flows
    • Minimums below which flows are not allowed to drop
    • Supplemental flows provided according to hydrologic conditions and biological need
  • Downramping requirementstomoderate rates of stream flow reduction
    • Reduce the risk of fish stranding and,
    • More closely emulate patterns of natural flow recession
monitoring and research supplemental biological studies
Monitoring and Research-- Supplemental Biological Studies

Dedicated funding to investigate up to 19 prioritized study questions addressing the effects of stream flow on:

  • Chinook and sockeye spawning and incubation
  • Steelhead spawning and incubation
  • Chinook early life history
  • Water temperature
  • Natural ecological processes that shape and maintain riparian and in-channel habitat
oversight
Oversight

Cedar River Instream Flow Commission

Representatives from:

  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
  • Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • Washington Department of Ecology
  • King County
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Seattle City Light
  • Seattle Public Utilities
does the tool box promote the right mix of certainty and flexibility
Does the Tool Box promote the right mix of certainty and flexibility?
  • Capital improvements to help protect fish
  • Detailed mngmt. prescriptions that protect the river and maintain municipal water supply capacity
  • Limitations on diversions to ensure flexibility to adapt and improve flow management
  • Continued monitoring and research
  • Commitment to apply research results
  • Collaborative oversight