Puyallup Watershed

Location of the Puyallup Watershed in Washington State.  Map courtesy of the EPA.The Puyallup watershed was divided into two parts in 1988 to make management easier. The Upper Puyallup covers approximately 75 percent of the entire Puyallup river basin, draining 766 square miles between Orting, the crest of the Cascades, and the peak of Mount Rainier. Approximately 96 percent of the upper watershed is forested. Steep hillsides and glacial streams are a primary feature of the watershed, but dams and man-made diversions on the Puyallup and White rivers interrupt the water’s natural flow. The diversions significantly reduce the flow of water in the bypassed segments of the two rivers.

The Lower Puyallup is 117,000 acres, reaching from Buckley to Commencement Bay and then south to Orting. There are a number of wetlands in the lower watershed, and dense, poorly drained soils left over from the Osceola and Electron mudflows. Average precipitation in the lower watershed is 40 to 49 inches annually.

EPA watershed profile:

Related WRIA: 10

All Puget Sound WRIAs

Sources:

Upper Puyallup Watershed Characterization and Action Plan

RELATED ARTICLES

A 2010 documentary describes efforts to protect and restore the Puyallup watershed.
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Water Undone: The Efforts to Save the Puyallup River Watershed

A 2010 video by the University of Washington Tacoma describes efforts to protect and restore the Puyallup watershed. 

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Puyallup Tribe

The Puyallup Tribe lives in one of the first areas in Puget Sound that was settled by Euro-Americans. For years, they were unable to exercise their fishing rights, until the U.S. vs. Washington court decision, which allowed them access to the usual and accustomed areas.

Puyallup Tribe Area of Concern:

The Snoqualmie River. Photo copyright King County.
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