Clark's Creek Elodea Removal

Clark's Creek Elodea Management

Management of the overgrown elodea in Clark's Creek has been ongoing for more than 20 years in Puyallup. In 2012 a task force comprised of staff, Council, citizens, regulatory agencies, and other organizations worked together to develop agreeable solutions to the problem. The goal was to find sustainable solutions that would reduce the overall presence of elodea and sediment in Clark's Creek, improving the health of the creek.

Beginning in 2013, Puyallup implemented the solutions identified by the Task Force and is now working toward a future for Clark's Creek that is not impacted by elodea and sediment loads. Read about the Clark's Creek Task Force process and projects underway by Puyallup's Stormwater Section. The 2016 project was completed on 08/02/2016. The City will review the project and evaluate permit needs for future years.

2017 Elodea Management - DASH

The regular-season elodea management window for 2017 is June 1 - August 4. Invitations to bid for the project are currently in publication. Visit the City's Public Notices to view the Invitation to Bid. 
For 2017 work, a minor modification was granted to the current HPA by WDFW. The modification expands the work area to include removal of elodea growth in DeCoursey Pond. As a flow-through area, elodea is present in the pond and removal is desired to reduce down-stream effects.

DASH - Clark's Creek Elodea Management Overview

Diver-assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) was identified by the 2012 Elodea Task Force as the main method for elodea removal starting in 2013 onward. In this process, divers enter the water from pontoon-type boats, using surface-supplied air. The divers hand-pull the elodea from the stream, and feed it into a suction hose. The plant material is suctioned to the surface of the water, into mesh bags located on the boat. When several bags are full, they are each transported to the shore, and removed from the project site. This process reduces the fragmentation of the elodea, and completely removes the plant from the stream so it cannot re-plant itself, or grow back.

This process is modeled after similar successful DASH projects in Thurston County, Washington and New York.

2013-2018 Applications

Permit applications for the 2013-2018 DASH project included:
  • Hydraulic Project Approval, HPA (WA Fish and Wildlife)
  • Shoreline Substantial Development Permit (City of Puyallup)
  • State Environmental Policy Act project review (City of Puyallup)
Also planned for the 2013 project was removal of accumulated rocks under the 56th Street E and Stewart Avenue E bridges. It is believed these rocks were pushed into the water over the years by vandals, creating a restriction to the creek flow at those locations. Read more about the 2013 projects. Please visit the project-specific page for the Sediment Removal Demonstration Project for more information.