Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

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
Approval Letter

Subbasin Characteristics

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

2003 Addendum

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

Subbasin Documents

Staff Contacts

Water Quality Coordinator
Kristin Larson
DEQ Coeur d'Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Parkway
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 666-4606