Progress Report on Activities
A number of management actions related to data and information management have been implemented over recent years. Many are associated with the tasks included in the Jointly adopted Work Plans but other may be implemented by one or more jurisdictions. This section provides an overview of some of the actions undertaken, with in some cases, links to other sites for additional information.
2005 - 2009 Work Plan Actions
Six activities are identified and progress on them can be viewed at "2005 Data and Information Management Progress Report."
In addition, there is also a summary of findings from the Institute for Watershed Studies' Lake Whatcom Monitoring 2004-2005 Final Report, and associated management actions available.
2000 - 2004 Work Plan Actions
- Models and Data Gaps - A pollutant loading model is a recognized need for stormwater management in the Lake Whatcom watershed. A pollutant loading model will assist in the evaluation of relative pollutant loads from existing land uses and areas as well as future scenarios. Pollutant loading models for the Lake Whatcom watershed are under development through the WRIA 1 Watershed Planning Project and the Lake Whatcom TMDL study.
In order to have models that are calibrated specifically to the conditions in the Lake Whatcom watershed, additional stream water quantity and quality data was conducted. Nine streams in the watershed were identified for stream flow and water quality monitoring. These included Smith, Olsen, Carpenter, Silver Beach , Mill Wheel, Euclid , Austin , Brannian, and Anderson Creeks. Stream flow had been monitored on Smith, Austin , and Anderson Creeks by WWU. Stream flow data on the six remaining streams was collected by USGS.
- Mercury in Fish - The Department of Ecology published a study in March of 2001 on the Mercury Concentrations in Edible Muscle of Lake Whatcom Fish (link to http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/0103012.pdf ) . The primary objective of this study was to quantify mercury concentrations in fish and signal crayfish species likely to be caught by anglers in Lake Whatcom .
This study analyzed total mercury concentrations in fillet tissue from 273 Lake Whatcom finfish and signal crayfish. Finfish species included yellow perch, kokanee, pumpkinseed, cutthroat trout, brown bullhead, and three size classes of smallmouth bass. The sampling was designed to identify concentration differences among the three major basins in the lake.
Results showed that smallmouth bass had the highest mercury concentrations among species analyzed. The overall mean concentration in smallmouth bass was 0.49 m g/g, with a significant dependence on length and age. Fish from basin 3, the largest yet least developed of the three basins, consistently had the highest mercury concentrations regardless of species, length, or age. Median mercury concentrations for most species fell between medians for Washington State (0.07 m g/g) and the U.S. (0.26 m g/g). However, one perch and 12 bass samples had mercury concentrations above the National Toxics Rule human health criterion of 0.825 m g/g, and six of the bass exceeded the FDA Action level of 1.0 m g/g.
This study led to a fish advisory for smallmouth bass and yellow perch. Fish Advisory
- Bloedel Donovan Swimming Beach - Whatcom County Department of Health and Human Services conducted water quality sampling and analysis for E Coli at Bloedel Donovan and Silver Beach . The goals of this study were to establish a geometric mean that can be used as a baseline to determine generic E. coli levels in the various swim areas and at Silver Beach and to coordinate with appropriate agencies to maintain and expand a database sufficient for detection of trends, assessment of problems, evaluation of actions, and forming management decisions that ensure protection and enhancement efforts are achieved.
- Y - Road Landfill - Phases 1-3 of the Y-Road landfill investigation were completed. Phase 1 included sampling of domestic water supply wells in the vicinity of the landfills and surface water from Carpenter Creek. Phase 2 included further sampling at Y-Road with quarterly sampling in Carpenter Creek, a one-time sampling event in Olsen creek, a Geoprobe investigation of groundwater and leachate, and door-to-door surveys of residents to better determine the use of the area's aquifers. Phase 3 of the Y-Road landfill investigation included installing and monitoring wells and gas probes. The Y-Road landfill reports can be found at ------.
- Comparison of City and Water District Intakes - Water District #10 and City of Bellingham Public Works combined data to derive water quality comparisons between basins two and three. This is possible due to the fact that the city's intake is located in basin 2 and Water District #10's intake is in basin 3. The findings from this comparison were:
- It is difficult to make conclusions on the comparison of data that were not collected for this purpose.
- Simple differences could be reflective of the water quality of basins two and three, but may not best represent overall water quality in each basin.
- WD #10 intake appears to be more vulnerable to solids-loading impacts than the City's intake.
- Bacteria densities observed are comparable.
- Data Catalog - The Lake Whatcom Data Catalog was updated to include reports completed between 2000 and 2004. The new reports were collected, abstracts prepared, the Data Catalog database was updated, and copies of the documents were made available at the Whatcom County Public Works Water Resources library and the Bellingham Public Library
- Institute for Watershed Studies - The City of Bellingham has an annual contract with the Institute for Watershed Studies, Western Washington University to collect lake, tributary, and stormwater data for the long-term water quality database. The reports can be viewed on the Institute for Watershed Studies (link to http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~iws/ ) website under projects.