Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Spokane River (Upper) Subbasin

Subbasin at a Glance

Hydrologic Unit Code 17010305
Size 209 square miles (133,760 acres)

Water Bodies with EPA-Approved TMDLs (Category 4a)

Fish Creek and tributaries, Hauser Lake, Hayden Lake, Twin Lakes

Beneficial Uses Affected Cold water aquatic life, salmonid spawning, primary contact recreation
Major Land Uses Forestry, agriculture, urban
Date Approved by EPA

January 2001
EPA Approval Letter

Date Addendum Approved by EPA

June 2008
EPA Approval Letter

Subbasin Characteristics

The Rathdrum Prairie is a 209-square-mile area located west of the Coeur d'Alene Mountains, north of Coeur d'Alene Lake, and south of Lake Pend Oreille. In addition to the two large lakes, five smaller lakes are located on the fringes of the prairie. The Spokane River traces the southern boundary of the subbasin on its route from Coeur d'Alene Lake to the Washington border.

2000 Subbasin Assessment and TMDL

The Spokane River is listed for temperature, but the assessment found the temperature in the Spokane River is caused by natural conditions and recommends the river be redesignated as limited cold water biota. Nutrient (total phosphorus) TMDLs were developed for Hauser, Hayden, and Twin Lakes. The total phosphorous TMDL developed for the Twin Lakes addresses Fish and Rathdrum Creeks as well.

The dissolved oxygen limitation of Hauser Lake is dependent on total phosphorous reductions. Data indicate that Spirit Lake is meeting the total phosphorus goal and dissolved oxygen standards.

Sediment modeling of Fish and Rathdrum Creeks indicates these water bodies are not limited by sediment. Bacteria standards are also met in Fish and Rathdrum Creeks and in Upper Twin Lake. Metals TMDLs for this subbasin are addressed in a previous TMDL; however, the district judge ruled the TMDL was invalid for failure to comply with statutory guidelines.

2000 TMDL: Streams and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed

Hauser Lake
Total phosphorus
Hayden Lake
Total phosphorus
Lower Twin Lake
Total phosphorus
Upper Twin Lake
Total phosphorus

2008 Fish Creek Watershed Assessment and TMDL

The Fish Creek watershed is contained within the Upper Spokane River subbasin. It is located northeast of Coeur d'Alene and drains east from across the Idaho/Washington border into the Twin Lakes. Ownership in the watershed is almost entirely private land. The Inland Empire Paper Company, the Idaho Department of Lands, and a few small private landowners are the primary land holders within the watershed. The majority of the stream is forested, intermixed with shrubs, grass meadows, and pastureland near its mouth before draining into upper Twin Lakes.

The Upper Spokane River Subbasin Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Loads developed in 2000 did not directly address excess pollutant loads within the Fish Creek watershed. Therefore, a separate document, entitled Fish Creek Watershed Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Loads, was developed in January 2007 and approved by EPA in June 2008.

2008 TMDL: Stream and Pollutants for Which TMDLs Were Developed

Fish Creek and tributaries
Sediment, temperature, bacteria

Subbasin Documents


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