USGS Washington Water Science Center
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Located in Mason County in western Washington State, Johns Creek is an important producer of coho and chum salmon. In 1984, the Washington State Department of Ecology established an Instream Resources Protection Program for Water Resource Inventory Area 14 (WAC 173-514) to retain sufficient in-stream flow to protect fish and wildlife, scenic, aesthetic and other environmental values. This program closed Johns Creek and its tributaries to all consumptive appropriations of water from September 16 to November 15 each year and also established minimum in-stream flows for the rest of the year. Despite these protections, Johns Creek streamflows near the mouth have declined to the point that average daily flows now rarely meet the established minimum instream flows from mid-February through September.
In order for Ecology to properly develop appropriate management options, a better understanding of the hydrogeology of Johns Creek subbasin is needed. The objective of the study is to characterize the hydrogeologic units in the groundwater-flow system in Johns Creek subbasin and vicinity. It is anticipated that these data will be integrated with other information into a numerical flow model to contribute to an improved understanding of water resources in the Johns Creek subbasin.