Clallam: New report rates county’s streams, creeks and rivers — and the report card isn’t good

So just how healthy for folks and fish is the Elwha River?

It’s “impaired.”

How about Peabody Creek? “Highly impaired.”

Jimmycomelately Creek? It’s “impaired,” too.

Surely not the Hoko River? Yes, it’s “impaired/ compromised.”

Who says so, and what do these terms mean?

A new report, “State of the Waters of Clallam County, 2004” spells it out in lay language.

The 150-page Streamkeepers report, richly illustrated with color maps and black-and-white photos, rates rivers, streams, and creeks from the Quillayute on the coast all the way east to Chicken Coop Creek.

Included for each is a general description, a synopsis of what the ratings mean to people, and a digest of what they mean to fish.

The report, recently presented to Clallam County commissioners, is available in limited quantities in Room 58 in the basement of the county courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles, or by calling 360-417-2506.

It soon will be posted on the Clallam County Web site, www.clallam.net, on the Streamkeepers’ page.

Streamkeepers consists of the 100 or so volunteers who as often as weekly sample water and examine habitat of the county’s streams.

They form “Stream Teams” that quarterly grade water quality and biological health at several spots along each waterway. Their measurements include temperature, dissolved oxygen, acidity, sediment, insects and fecal coliform.

Their data were combined with information from the state Department of Ecology, Olympic National Forest and the Jamestown S’Klallam, Lower Elwha, and Quileute tribes.

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