333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371 - 253-841-4321

City of Puyallup

Clarks Creek Elodea Management

Management of the overgrown elodea in Clarks Creek has been on-going 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 Clarks 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 Clarks Creek that is not impacted by elodea and sediment loads. Read about the Clarks Creek Task Force process and projects underway by Puyallup's Stormwater Section.

2015 Project Underway

The in-water work window for the 2015 Elodea Management is June 1-August 1. With a record-setting volume of elodea able to be removed in 2014, and a consideration for the time when the elodea really starts to 'bloom out', the City requested and was granted approval by WDFW and the Puyallup Tribe to begin in-water work on June 1 in an effort to pull the elodea before it hits its massive 'bloom out'.

(updated 06/30/2015)

Running Totals

Total area cleared: 13,425 LF
Total elodea removed: 7960 bags

Daily updates 

  1. 06/01 (Day 1) - Contractor mobilized and beginning work in Clarks Creek at 12th Ave SW bridge.
    Area cleared: 160 linear feet (LF)
    Bags of elodea removed: 100
  2. 06/02 (Day 2) - Continued in Area #1
    Area cleared: 600 LF
    Bags of elodea: 180
  3. 06/03 (Day 3)  - Completed Area #1, began in Area #2
    Area cleared: 450 LF
    Bags of elodea: 120
  4. 06/04 (Day 4) - Worked in Area #2
    Area cleared: 250 LF
    Bags of elodea: 240
  5. 06/05 (Day 5) - Continued in Area #2
    Area cleared: 350 LF
    Bags of elodea: 320
  6. 06/08 (Day 6) - Continued in Area #2
    Area cleared: 690 LF
    Bags of elodea: 500
  7. 06/09 (Day 7) - Continued in Area #2 and began Area #3
    Area cleared: 300 LF
    Bags of elodea: 400
  8. 06/10 (Day 8) - Continued in Area #3
    Area cleared: 975 LF
    Bags of elodea: 500 
  9. 06/11 (Day 9) -  Completed Area #3, began Area #4
    Area cleared: 900 LF
    Bags of elodea: 360
  10. 06/12 (Day 10) - Continued in Area #4
    Area cleared: 700 LF
    Bags of elodea: 360
  11. 06/15 (Day 11) - Completed Area #4, began Area #5
    Area cleared: 550 LF
    Bags of elodea: 420
  12. 06/16 (Day 12) - Continued in Area #5
    Area cleared: 500 LF
    Bags of elodea: 360
  13. 06/17 (Day 13) - Continued in Area #5
    Area cleared: 400 LF
    Bags of elodea: 560
  14. 06/18 (Day 14) - Continued in Area #5 
    Area Cleared: 500 LF 
    Bags of elodea: 420
  15. 06/19 (Day 15) - Continued in Area #5 
    Area Cleared: 300 LF
    Bags of elodea: 560
  16. 6/22 (Day 16) - Completed Area #5, began Area #6
    Area Cleared: 500 LF
    Bags of elodea: 380
  17. 6/23 (Day 17) Continued in Area #6
    Area Cleared: 500 LF
    Bags of elodea: 400 
  18. 6/24 (Day 18) Continued in Area #6
    Area Cleared: 500 LF 
    Bags of elodea: 380 
  19. 6/25 (Day 19) Continued in Area #6
    Area Cleared: 1,400 LF 
    Bags of elodea: 360
  20. 6/26 (Day 20) Continued in Area #6, began Area#7
    Area Cleared: 1,400 LF 
    Bags of elodea: 360
  21. 6/29 (Day 21) Continued in Area #6 and 7 
    Area Cleared: 600 LF
    Bag of elodea: 320
  22. 6/30 (Day 22) Continued in Area #6 and 7 
    Area Cleared: 900 LF 
    Bags of elodea: 360
  23. 7/1 (Day 23) Will be updated on Monday 
2015 Clarks Creek Elodea Management

The in-water work window for 2015 is June 1-August 1. With a record-setting volume of elodea able to be removed in 2014, and a consideration for the time when the elodea really starts to 'bloom out', the City requested and was granted approval by WDFW and the Puyallup Tribe to begin in-water work on June 1 in an effort to pull the elodea before it hits its massive 'bloom out'.

Clarks Creek In-water Projects

DASH Removal

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, WA and New York.

Permit applications for the 2013-2018 DASH project included:

  • Shoreline Substantial Development Permit (City of Puyallup)
  • State Environmental Policy Act project review (City of Puyallup)
  • Hydraulic Project Approval, HPA (WA Fish & Wildlife)

Also planned for the 2013 project was removal of accumulated rocks under the 56th Street E and Stewart Ave 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 here: 2013 Clarks Creek Elodea Management.

Demonstration Sediment Removal Project

This demonstration project was designed to show the potential effectiveness of removing accumulated sediments in a 400-foot stretch of Clarks Creek using a hydraulic dredge method. The demonstration area for the project was identified near the 12th Ave SW bridge. Approximately 400 feet south of the bridge the stream it was previously known to have an existing, natural rock bottom. The project was to begin at this location, working downstream, to expand Salmon-rearing habitat.

Updated - After permits were completed, in-water explorations were completed that discovered the depth extent of sediment in this area. As a result, the demonstration area will be altered in length to adhere to the permit-approved volume for removal. This project was unsuccessfully bid in 2014, but will be out to bid again in 2015 with an extended bid window.

Read more about this project development here: Sediment Removal Demonstration Project.

Sediment Removal Demonstration Project

Please visit the project-specific page for the Sediment Removal Demonstration Project.