Priest River Subbasin
Subbasin at a Glance
|Hydrologic Unit Code||17010215|
|Size||981 square miles (627,840 acres)|
Water Bodies with EPA-Approved TMDLs (Category 4a)
Binarch Creek, East River, Kalispell Creek, Lower Priest River, Lower West Branch Priest River, Middle Fork East River, North Fork East River, Reeder Creek
|Beneficial Uses Affected||Cold water aquatic life, salmonid spawning|
|Major Land Uses||Forestry, agriculture, rural recreation|
|Date Approved by EPA||March 2002
EPA Approval Letter
|Date Addendum Approved by EPA||June 2003|
|Date 2016 Temperature Addendum Approved by EPA||May 2019
The Priest River subbasin falls primarily within the northwest corner of the Idaho Panhandle in Bonner and Boundary Counties. The headwaters of upper Priest River originate within the Nelson Mountain Range of British Columbia; headwaters of major streams on the western side of the basin originate in northeast Washington.
2001 Subbasin Assessment and TMDL
In 1994 and again in 1996, ten segments within the Priest River subbasin were classified as water quality limited under §303(d) of the Clean Water Act. All Priest River subbasin §303(d)-listed streams are listed for sediment (except Lower West Branch Priest River, which had no listed pollutants of concern, but sediment is implied). Nutrients are a listed pollutant for Tango Creek, and dissolved oxygen, temperature, and flow alteration are listed for East River. Habitat alteration is listed for Trapper Creek and Two Mouth Creek.
While habitat alteration and flow alteration may adversely affect beneficial uses, they are not pollutants as defined under §303(d) of the Clean Water Act; therefore, TMDLs were not developed to address habitat and flow alteration as pollutants.
2001 TMDL: Streams and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed
- Kalispell Creek
- Lower West Branch Priest River
In March 2002, EPA approved sediment TMDLs for two water bodies: Kalispell Creek and Lower West Branch Priest River. Action on other segments was delayed at DEQ's request to allow for further data collection and analysis. An addendum addressing these other water bodies was submitted to EPA for review in February 2003 and approved in June 2003.
2003 Addendum: Streams and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed
- Reeder Creek
- Binarch Creek
- East River
- Sediment (entire watershed), temperature
- Middle Fork East River
- North Fork East River
- Lower Priest River
- Priest River Subbasin Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load (October 2001)
- Priest River Subbasin Assessment and TMDL Addendum (April 2003)
- Priest River Subbasin Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load: 2016 Temperature Addendum (January 2016)