Silver Creek drains an area of
approximately 9.4 square miles, originating in a series of small ponds and
wetlands in the northwest corner of the City of Bellingham. The stream flows
north, then west for approximately seven miles before emptying into the
Nooksack River. There are two large tributaries (Bear Creek and Lost Creek),
and numerous smaller streams. Only the extreme headwaters of Bear Creek are
currently located within the city limits; however, the majority of the
Silver Creek basin is contained within the city’s Urban Growth Area.
The Silver Creek basin provides almost 20 miles of habitat for anadromous
salmonids. According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
(WDFW), chum and Coho salmon are found in the lower reaches of Silver Creek.
However, no anadromous fish have been identified using tributary areas
within the city. The City has not conducted spawning surveys or other fish
studies in Silver Creek to date.
Currently there are no restoration projects planned for Silver Creek. The
majority of the creek runs through rural residential area and farmland.
Silver and Bear Creeks are listed on the
Department of Ecology’s 2004 303(d) list as impaired for dissolved
oxygen and fecal coliform. The City of Bellingham has collected monthly data
on water quality at one site on Silver Creek since 2004 as part of the