Green Cove Creek Watershed
The headwaters of Green Cove Creek emanate from a large intact wetland complex largely protected by conservation easements, acquisitions, and a City of Olympia . The riparian corridor is comprised of mixed conifer and deciduous forest with only a few sites warranting improvement. Because it is relatively intact, Green Cove Creek is Olympia’s priority for salmon habitat protection measures.
The Green Cove Creek Comprehensive Drainage Basin Plan (1998) recommended minimum canopy cover of 60% within the watershed to prevent excessive stormwater impacts. The City of Olympia has downzoned the upper Basin and instituted more stringent development standards to maintain the forest cover and protect the creek. Although the City has instituted these standards, significant residential development pressures exist in this desirable area, especially new home construction. Tidal influence occurs in the estuary and at the mouth of the creek, allowing for a fresh and saltwater mixing despite the presence of some bulkheads. Green Cove has two fishways assessed by WDFW; one has retrofitted baffles which impact upstream adult and juvenile migration while the other is passing fish. (Thurston CD 2004
- A Comprehensive drainage plan was adopted in 1998 by Thurston County - http://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/sw/Pages/basin-plan-greencove.aspx
- WDFW identified Olympia Mud Minnow in the creek - https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/00002/
- Thurston CD 2004 describes restoration strategies for the WRIA 13, including Green Cove Creek, and reports use by Chum and Coho Salmon, and Steelhead and Cutthroat trout with anadromous use over 3.4 miles of stream.
- The plan proposes replacement of the culvert on Country Club Road, protection and enhancement of riparian forest, increasing large wood recruitment, and protection of hydrology form development impacts.
- The plan proposes a riparian assessment, but that appears to have not occurred.
- Green Cove Creek has a water quality monitoring station identified by USGS but no time series data. https://www.waterqualitydata.us/provider/NWIS/USGS-WA/USGS-12078660/
- Capitol Land Trust has acquired 150 acres over 8 sights in the watershed focused on wetlands - https://capitollandtrust.org/conserved-lands/conservation-areas/green-cove-creek-wetlands/
- High resolution map of green cove creek by user:pcereghino - File:Greencovecreek.pdf
- City of Olympia has acquired lands to establish the 171 acre Grass Lake Nature Park which has a 1997 Master Plan. There appears to be some limited reforestation near the entrance.
- Wild Fish Conservancy captured 20007 video footage of stray hatchery coho salmon spawning in Green Cove Creek.
- Watershed development continues, contested by local advocates - http://janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com/2016/05/housing-development-threatens-west.html