WSAS Project

Proposed scope for a comprehensive hydrologic study of the Skagit Estuary


The Joint Legislative Task Force on Water Supply (JLTF) asked WSAS to convene a committee to provide advice on scientific and technical issues related to the Skagit River Basin. The Skagit River estuary and the flow of water in the Skagit River are critical to the life cycles of salmon, agriculture in the Skagit Valley, and recreation/domestic use. Balancing these competing needs and uses is especially important during the late summer when water is scarce.

The committee proposed a scope for a comprehensive hydrologic study of the Skagit Estuary, including suggestions for an integrated set of research projects that could, over time, fill knowledge gaps and provide valuable information to policymakers. These research projects included: topographical and seasonal inundation dynamics, temporal variation in aquatic habitat characteristics, habitat suitability index development of targeted fish species, hydrodynamic modeling, integration of the estuary and the upstream basin, and measurement error, uncertainty, and error propagation. The committee also suggested that the potential impacts of climate change on the Skagit watershed is an overarching issue that will need to be considered as research is conducted.

Project Details


Requested of WSAS


November 2021 – May 2022


Washington State Department of Ecology on behalf of the Joint Legislative Task Force on Water Supply

Project Team


Michael Goodchild*, Chair
Emeritus, UC Santa Barbara

Rebecca Flitcroft
U.S. Forest Service

Eric Grossman
U.S. Geological Survey

Se-Yuen Lee
Seattle University

Mark Wigmosta
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

*WSAS members


Donna Gerardi Riordan
Executive Director

Amanda Koltz
Interim Program Officer

Elizabeth Jarowey
Program Operations Manager

Related Projects

Review of the scientific basis for Skagit River water flow management
Skagit River Basin Water Supply

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