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 Out to Bid

View the Notice to Contractors.

(updated 04/14/2015)

Running totals:
Total area cleared: 0 LF
Total elodea removed: 0 bags

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.