Research, Monitoring and Evaluation
The Puyallup River is located in mid-central Puget Sound, Washington and enters into Commencement Bay. The Puyallup River watershed encompasses 438 square miles and includes three major tributaries: the Carbon River, Mowich River and South Prairie Creek. The Puyallup, Carbon and Mowich Rivers originate from glaciers located in Mt. Rainier National Park and exhibit the classic features of glacial streams: frequently shifting braided channels, high turbidity and low temperatures.
Prior to the construction of the Electron Diversion Dam at river mile 41.5 in 1904, natural production occurred throughout the entire Puyallup River Basin. However, the dam eliminated access to 21.5 miles of spawning habitat. In the fall of 2000, the Puyallup Tribe reopened this habitat for fish use by installing a fish ladder at the Electron Dam.
The White River is located in Pierce County, Washington and is a tributary to the Puyallup River. The White and West Fork of the White River, the two primary rivers which contribute flow, originate from glaciers located in Mt. Rainier National Park.
Unlike the Puyallup River, the White River is managed for flood control by the United States Army Corp of Engineers. In 1947, the Corp built an earthen dam at river mile 29.6 and then followed up with construction of fishway facilities five miles below the dam at river mile 24.3 in 1949. Because of the earthen dam, Mud Mountain Dam is impassible to fish.