The Deschutes River is one of the largest streams in Thurston County, flowing over 57 miles from its forested headwaters to Puget Sound. The watershed that drains into the river includes a variety of land uses, including timber and agricultural lands, as well as developed areas within the cities of Olympia and Tumwater. While the Deschutes River currently supports a variety of wildlife habitat and recreational uses, it also suffers from ongoing pollution concerns. The river is listed under the federal Clean Water Act for dissolved oxygenthe level of oxygen gas present in water, indicating its ability to support aquatic life., fecal coliformbacteria associated with feces that indicate the likelihood that drinking water will cause a bacterial infection., temperature, pH, and fine sedimentparticles of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobble, transported by water, are called sediment., and is the subject of a state-coordinated cleanup plan. Nutrient levels in the Deschutes contribute to pollution issues in Capitol Lake, and it is considered a major contributor to low dissolved oxygenthe level of oxygen gas present in water, indicating its ability to support aquatic life. levels in Budd Inlet. Anticipated future development in the watershed could exacerbate water quality issues. -- Thurston County
- County Webpage summarizing information about the basin.
- Ecology Deschutes TMDL - Deschutes watershed multi-parameter TMDL
- Deschutes Watershed Characterization Report (2011) by Thurston County.