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Watershed Advisory Groups

Watershed advisory groups (WAGs) are comprised of interested citizens who provide local public input and guidance to DEQ during the development of water quality improvement plans or total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for water bodies that fail to meet water quality standards. TMDLs are designed to reduce the levels of pollutants, such as bacteria and sediment, in impaired water bodies.

Content on this page is provided for informational purposes while the WAGs and DEQ work to develop a water quality improvement plan or TMDLs for water bodies in the watershed found to be not fully supporting beneficial uses.

  • Boise
  • Coeur d'Alene
  • Idaho Falls
  • Lewiston
  • Pocatello
  • Twin Falls

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The Indian Creek WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in Indian Creek. DEQ will consult with WAG participants on a regular basis throughout the TMDL development and/or 5-year review process.

Sediment and Bacteria TMDLs

The sediment and bacteria TMDLs will be combined into a single, comprehensive lower Boise River tributary TMDL process, which would be completed in cooperation with the lower Boise Watershed Council.

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There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

Request the previous meeting records using our Public Records Request form. 

Additional Information

The Fifteen Mile Creek WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in Fifteen Mile Creek. DEQ will consult with WAG participants on a regular basis throughout the TMDL development and/or 5-year review process.

Sediment and Bacteria TMDLs

The sediment and bacteria TMDLs will be combined into a single, comprehensive lower Boise River tributary TMDL process, which will be completed in cooperation with the lower Boise Watershed Council. For updates, go to the Lower Boise River WAG accordion below.

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There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

Request the previous meeting records using our Public Records Request form. 

Additional Information

 

The Mason Creek WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in Mason Creek. DEQ will consult with WAG participants on a regular basis throughout the TMDL development and/or 5-year review process.

Sediment and Bacteria TMDLs

The sediment and bacteria TMDLs will be combined into a single, comprehensive lower Boise River tributary TMDL process, which would be completed in cooperation with the lower Boise Watershed Council. For updates, scroll to the Lower Boise River accordion below.

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There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

Request the previous meeting records using our Public Records Request form. 

Additional Information

The Lower Payette River WAG was formed in 1995. The Lower Payette River Subbasin Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load was developed, submitted to EPA for review, and subsequently approved by EPA in May 2000. An additional TMDL was developed and approved by EPA in October 2003 (Bissel Creek). An addendum was approved in July 2008. A 5-year review was completed in February 2010.

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Additional Information

The Boise-Mores Creek WAG was formed in 2006 and met through October 2007. The Boise-Mores Creek Watershed Subbasin Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Loads document was developed and initially submitted to EPA for review in June 2009. The document was revised in December 2009, resubmitted to EPA, and subsequently approved by EPA in February 2010.

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Additional Information

The North & Middle Fork Owyhee WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in the North & Middle Fork Owyhee. DEQ will consult with WAG participants on a regular basis throughout the TMDL development and/or 5-year review process.

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There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

Request the previous meeting records using our Public Records Request form. 

The Upper Owyhee WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in the Upper Owyhee. DEQ will consult with WAG participants on a regular basis throughout the TMDL development and/or 5-year review process.

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There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

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The Sand Hollow Creek WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in Sand Hollow Creek. DEQ will consult with WAG participants on a regular basis throughout the TMDL development and/or 5-year review process.

Sediment and Bacteria TMDLs

The sediment and bacteria TMDLs will be combined into a single, comprehensive lower Boise River tributary TMDL process, which would be completed in cooperation with the lower Boise Watershed Council. For updates, go to the Lower Boise River WAG accordion.

  • Upcoming Meeting
  • Previous Meetings

There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

Request the previous meeting records using our Public Records Request form. 

Additional Information

The Willow Creek WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in Willow Creek. DEQ will consult with WAG participants on a regular basis throughout the TMDL development and/or 5-year review process.

Sediment and Bacteria TMDLs

The sediment and bacteria TMDLs will be combined into a single, comprehensive lower Boise River tributary TMDL process, which would be completed in cooperation with the lower Boise Watershed Council. For updates, go to the Lower Boise River accordion.

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Additional Information

The Lower Boise River WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in the Lower Boise River. DEQ will consult with WAG participants on a regular basis throughout the TMDL development and/or 5-year review process.

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Additional Information

  • Lower Boise Wastershed Council website
  • USDA invests $33 million to improve water quality in high-priority watersheds
  • Waster quality trading
  • Total phosphorus and sediment and bacteria addendums
  • Comments and responses on draft total phosphorus TMDL addendum
  • Previous draft documents
  • Images and waypoints
  • Sediment/bacteria

The North Fork Payette River WAG was formed in 2014. The North Fork Payette River Subbasin Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load was developed, submitted to EPA for review, and subsequently approved by EPA in August 2005. A 5-year review was completed in February 2012.

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There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

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The Middle Snake/Succor Creek WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in the Middle Snake and Succor Creek. DEQ will consult with WAG participants on a regular basis throughout the TMDL development and/or 5-year review process.

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There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

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Additional Information

The South Fork Boise River WAG was formed in 2007 and met through October 2009. The South Fork Boise River Subbasin Assessment, Total Maximum Daily Load, and Five-Year Review document was developed, submitted to EPA for review in January 2009, and subsequently approved by EPA in March 2009.

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There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

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Additional Information

The Weiser River Watershed Subbasin Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load was developed, submitted to EPA for review, and subsequently approved by EPA in January 2007. An addendum was approved in January 2007.

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Additional Documents

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The Black Lake WAG was formed in 2009 to develop and implement a nutrient TMDL to improve water quality in Black Lake. The Black Lake Watershed Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load was developed in conjunction with EPA and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, with the goal of producing one TMDL protective of both reservation and state waters. The document was approved by EPA in 2011.

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The Coeur d’Alene Lake Tributaries watershed includes the Coeur d’Alene River downstream from Cataldo, its respective tributaries, and all tributaries to Lake Coeur d’Alene except the St. Joe and St. Maries Rivers. The Coeur d’Alene Lake Tributaries WAG and DEQ are planning and implementing water quality improvement projects to achieve targets set by existing TMDLs for sediment and metals in the subbasin. Additionally, TMDLs addressing temperature and metals are under development for water bodies in the subbasin that do not fully support beneficial uses.

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There are no meetings scheduled at this time.

Meeting materials, agendas, and resources

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Additional Information

The Fish Creek WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in the Fish Creek watershed, which is contained within the Upper Spokane Subbasin. 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, submitted to public comment in early 2008, and approved by EPA in June 2008. An implementation plan is under development.

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Additional Information

The Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative members served as the WAG for the development of this TMDL. The Assessment of Water Quality in Kootenai River and Moyie River Subbasins (TMDL) was developed by DEQ, EPA, and the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho in 2006. The document was submitted to public comment and approved by EPA in January 2007. Subsequent documentation on likely causes of impairment was issued in 2009.

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Additional Information

2009 Stressor Identification

Stream Name Assessment Unit Likely Cause of Impairment
1st and 2nd order tributaries to Kootenai River between Shorty’s Island and Canadian border ID17010104PN001_02 Flow, habitat alteration, and possibly sediment
Grass Creek headwaters and tributaries ID17010104PN003_02 Flow alteration, temperature, and sediment
Parker Creek lower section located in Kootenai River valley (Ag area) ID17010104PN009_03 Habitat alteration and sediment
Trout Creek lower section located in Kootenai River valley (Ag area) ID17010104PN010_03a Habitat alteration and sediment
Ball Creek lower section located in Kootenai River valley (Ag area) ID17010104PN011_02a Habitat alteration and sediment
Dodge Creek from South Fork Dodge Creek to McArthur Lake ID17010104PN024_03 Habitat alteration and sediment
Brown Creek from confluence with Twentymile Creek to Deep Creek ID17010104PN027_03 Flow, habitat alteration, and sediment
Lower Cow Creek (Cow Creek near Bonners Ferry) ID17010104PN030_03 Sediment, lack of flow, temperature
Boulder Creek ID17010104PN033_03 Temperature (if condition exists)
Brush Creek ID17010104PN039_02 Flow alteration and temperature
Meadow Creek ID17010105PN012_02 Sediment, possibly temperature, fish barriers, and heavy metal toxicity

The Lower Clark Fork River WAG was formed to develop and implement total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) to improve water quality in the Lower Clark Fork River Subbasin. The WAG is currently meeting to consult on the Lower Clark Fork Temperature TMDL.

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Additional Documents

  • Coming soon.

The North Fork Coeur d’Alene River WAG and DEQ are planning and implementing water quality improvement projects to achieve targets set by existing TMDLs for sediment, temperature, and metals in the subbasin.

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There are no meetings scheduled meetings at this time.

Meeting Documents

Request the previous meeting records using our Public Records Request form. 

Additional Documents

All of these documents are considered draft and are subject to change. The goal of providing these documents at WAG meetings and on this web page is to ensure citizens have the opportunity to provide input as the documents are developed.

April 2011 Update: DEQ’s technical analysis and regulatory review of the Idaho portion of Pend Oreille Temperature TMDL has been on hold since February 2008. Since then, the US Army Corps of Engineers has modified its modeling process and provided DEQ a US Geological Survey peer-reviewed report of its findings. Although the Corps’ modeling outputs are not directly comparable to those selected by DEQ, they seem similar. Rather than the continuing debate over modeling processes, DEQ will perform load duration analyses on both data sets as resources become available. DEQ intends to reconvene the WAG to review preliminary load duration analysis findings and obtain comment and will provide the findings to EPA for TMDL development.

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Additional Documents

The South Fork Coeur d’Alene River WAG is not part of the Superfund cleanup, although many of the water quality issues are related. Many groups, such as the Basin Environmental Improvement Project Commission, address the Superfund cleanup of metals. Instead, the WAG will focus primarily on other water quality concerns such as sediment and temperature.

DEQ developed the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River Sediment Subbasin Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load that was approved by EPA in August 2003. The South Fork Coeur d’Alene River WAG and DEQ will plan and implement water quality improvement projects to achieve targets set by the existing TMDLs. Additionally, TMDLs addressing temperature will be developed for waterbodies in the subbasin not fully supporting beneficial uses.

Currently, DEQ is compiling water quality data and talking with people who may be interested in participating in the WAG. If you are interested in participating or have questions, contact the watershed coordinator. Meeting announcements and other WAG materials will be posted on this web page.

NoteContent on this page is provided for informational purposes as the WAG and DEQ develop and implement water quality plans for the South Fork Coeur d’Alene River watershed. All review documents are considered draft and are subject to change. The goal of providing these documents at WAG meetings and on this webpage is to ensure citizens have an opportunity to provide input as the documents are developed.

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The Upper Spokane River WAG was formed to develop and implement total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) to improve water quality in the Upper Spokane River Subbasin. The WAG began meeting in 2016 to consult on the Spokane River Metals TMDL.

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Previous meeting documents.

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Additional Documents

The Idaho Falls Regional Office encompasses 17 4th-field hydrologic unit codes (4th-field HUCs). The rural and federally managed portions of the region often do not have all nine nonpoint source sectors required in Idaho Code for a WAG. Instead, DEQ partners with nonprofit groups to support the Water Quality Division’s  TMDL water quality improvement plans. These partners support DEQ’s WAG efforts and offer opportunities for all nine sectors to participate in review and comment opportunities. 

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Watershed Advisory Groups (WAGs) are groups of citizens that provide DEQ with local public input and guidance regarding specific watersheds. WAGs advise DEQ on the development of water quality improvement plans called Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), and provide guidance on how to implement water quality improvements in these watersheds. WAGs also advise DEQ during periodic checkups on TMDLs. Idaho Code § 39-3611(7) requires DEQ to review approved TMDLs every five years to evaluate if assumptions, analyses, targets, and loads developed in TMDLs are still appropriate, or changes are needed.

This WAG was formed to advise DEQ on water quality management in Lindsay Creek, Hatwai Creek, and Tammany Creek. The WAG advised DEQ on the development of water quality improvement plans called TMDLs and provided guidance on how to implement water quality improvements in these watersheds.  In 2018-2019, DEQ is reviewing the Lindsay Creek and Hatwai Creek TMDLs. This page provides information for the WAG and the general public relevant to the TMDL review process. 

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Previous meeting document.
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Additional Information

Watershed Advisory Groups (WAGs) are groups of citizens that provide DEQ with local input and guidance regarding specific watersheds. WAGs advise DEQ on the development of water quality improvement plans called Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and provide guidance on how to implement water quality improvements. WAGs also advise DEQ during periodic checkups on TMDLs. Idaho Code § 39-3611(7) requires DEQ to review approved TMDLs every five years to evaluate if assumptions, analyses, targets, and loads developed in TMDLs are still appropriate, or changes are needed.

The 2000 Cottonwood Creek 2004 South Fork Clearwater River TMDLs were developed to address impaired waters within the South Fork Clearwater River Basin (Hydrologic Unit Code 17060305) (Figure 1). Because these TMDLs addressed waters within the Nez Perce Reservation, they were developed under a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between DEQ, the Nez Perce Tribe, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Separate WAGs were formed to support the development of the Cottonwood Creek TMDLs and South Fork Clearwater TMDLs, but there was considerable overlap of WAG members.

Beginning in 2020, DEQ will form a WAG to advise DEQ during the TMDL review process required by Idaho Code §39-3611(7) and advise DEQ on all waters within HUC 17060305. DEQ will present information and seek advice from the WAG and interested stakeholders in public meetings. Materials related to the TMDL review process, including public meeting dates, meeting agendas and minutes, reports, and other documents will be publicly available through this website.

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Additional Information

DEQ is developing a public database of water quality data collected in the South Fork Clearwater watershed, the SF-CLEAR database. The database is intended to promote monitoring coordination among agencies and facilitate stakeholder data access during the WAG process. The database is a work in progress and will be periodically updated during the WAG process. The current draft version of the SF-CLEAR database can be accessed using an online dashboard.

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The Blackfoot River WAG was created to develop and implement a TMDL to improve water quality in the Blackfoot River Subbasin. The Blackfoot River TMDL: Waterbody Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Load was approved by EPA in April 2002, followed by an addendum addressing temperature in Brush Creek that was approved by EPA in 2007. The WAG met in 2008 and 2009 to conduct a 5-year review of subbasin documents.

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Additional Information

The Portneuf River & Tributaries WAG was formed to develop and implement TMDLs to improve water quality in the Portneuf River Subbasin. A water body assessment and TMDL document was developed in 1999, followed by a supplement and implementation plan in 2001 and 2003. The WAG met from November 2006 to December 2008 to develop a revision and addendum, which was submitted to and subsequently approved by EPA in August 2010.

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The Wood River WAG was originally created in 1995 as an outgrowth of the Senate Bill 1284 (“WAG-BAG Law”). The primary purpose and concern was to provide input to DEQ and EPA in restoring the beneficial uses and water quality standards of the Big Wood River, the Little Wood River, the Camas Creek and their major tributaries. The Wood River WAG encompasses three major subbasins: the Big Wood River Subbasin, the Little Wood River Subbasin, and the Camas Creek Subbasin. From this group and in cooperation with DEQ have come the Big Wood River TMDL (approved 2002), the Little Wood River TMDL (2005) and the Camas Creek TMDL (2005). The WAG has stakeholder industries that represent irrigation agriculture, confined animal feeding operations, food processors, municipalities, grazing, recreation and forestry. Ground water is also a concern to the WAG and is also included in the approved TMDLs. Currently, the WAG meets quarterly (or as needed) and continues to provide input to DEQ and EPA on TMDL issues and other water quality related issues. Content on this page is provided for informational purposes while the Wood River WAG and DEQ work to conduct a 5-year review of the Little Wood River Subbasin Assessment, TMDL, and Implementation Plan.
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The Mid-Snake WAG was originally created in the late 1980s as an outgrowth of the Mid-Snake Study Group that met representing stakeholder industries of the Upper Snake Rock and Lake Walcott subbasins. The primary purpose and concern was to provide input to DEQ and EPA in restoring the beneficial uses and water quality standards of the Snake River and major tributaries. From this group came the draft Mid-Snake Nutrient Management Plan in 1995; this became the Mid-Snake TMDL in 1997. In 1995, the Mid-Snake WAG was divided into two groups, the Mid-Snake WAG representing the Upper Snake Rock Subbasin, and the Lake Walcott WAG, representing the Lake Walcott Subbasin, the separation being at Milner Dam. The outgrowth of this was the Upper Snake Rock TMDL and the Lake Walcott TMDL, both in 2005. Both WAGs have stakeholder industries that represent irrigation agriculture, aquaculture, confined animal feeding operations, food processors, municipalities, grazing, recreation, and forestry. Ground water is also a concern to both WAGs and is also included in the approved TMDLs. Currently, both WAGs meet quarterly (or as needed) and both continue to provide input to DEQ and EPA on TMDL issues and other water quality-related issues. Content on this page is provided for informational purposes while the Lake Walcott WAG and DEQ work to conduct a 5-year review of the Goose Creek Subbasin Assessment, TMDL, and Implementation Plan. Through this cooperative effort and continued public involvement, DEQ’s goal is to develop a comprehensive plan aimed at restoring all beneficial uses within the watershed.
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The Middle Snake River WAG was originally created in 1995 as an outgrowth of the House Bill 1284 (WAG-BAG Law). The primary purpose and concern was to provide input to DEQ and EPA in restoring the beneficial uses and water quality standards of the Snake River, Rock Creek and their major tributaries. The Middle Snake River WAG encompasses one major subbasin, the Upper Snake Rock Subbasin. From this group, and in cooperation with DEQ, have come the Middle Snake River Watershed Management Plan (approved 1997), the Upper Snake Rock Watershed Management Plan (2000), and the Upper Snake Rock TMDL Modification (2005). The WAG has stakeholder industries that represent irrigation agriculture, confined animal feeding operations, food processors, aquaculture, municipalities, grazing, recreation, and forestry. Ground water is also a concern to the WAG and is also included in the approved TMDLs. Currently, the WAG meets quarterly (or as needed) and continues to provide input to DEQ and EPA on TMDL issues and other water quality-related issues. Content on this page is provided for informational purposes while the Middle Snake WAG and DEQ work to conduct a 5-year review of the Middle Snake River Subbasin Assessment, TMDL, and Implementation Plan.
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