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Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5078

Assessment of Eutrophication in the Lower Yakima River Basin, Washington, 2004–07

Table 4. Description of geomorphology and habitat, irrigation diversions, tributary and agricultural returns, light availability, aquatic plant growth, and nutrient concentrations in three reaches of the lower Yakima River, Washington, 2004–07.

[Abbreviations: RM, river mile; ft, foot; ft/s, foot per second; ft/100 ft, foot per 100 feet; µg/L, microgram per liter; mg/L, milligram per liter; g/m2, gram per square meter; na, not applicable; –, no data]

Parameter and unit of measure Measurement Reach
(RM 116 – 72)
(RM 72 – 47)
(RM 47 – 4)
Geomorphology and habitat
River gradient (ft/100 ft) Longitudinal profile 1.8 0.3 1.1
Geomorphic units from June 2004 survey Qualitative Mostly runs with
some short pools
Two long pools Mostly run with
one short pool
Maximum water depths from June 2004 survey (ft) Mean 4.5 7.9 5.4
Maximum surface water velocities from June 2004 
survey (ft/s) Mean 2.2 1.3 2.3
Dominant substrate type from June 2004 survey Qualitative Cobble Fines Cobble
Diversions and tributary input
Water diversions during 2004 synoptic sampling (percent) Proportion of total streamflow 90 1 0 17
Tributary and agricultural drain inflow during 2004 synoptic sampling (percent) Proportion of total streamflow 41 50 30
Light availability
Maximum depth of plant colonization, 2005 (ft) Median 5.7 6.8 12.2
Aquatic plant growth
Frequency of macrophyte presence from June 2004 survey (percent) Proportion of stations where macrophytes were present 41 48 86
Macrophyte biomass (dry weight), August–September 2005 (g/m2) Median 0 0 1,020
Phytoplankton abundance (as chlorophyll a), 
2004-07 (µg/L) Median 4.6 13.1 4.4
Surface-water concentration of dissolved nitrite plus nitrate, July–September 2005 (mg/L) Mean 0.30 1.00 0.91
Surface-water concentration of dissolved orthophosphate, July–September 2005 (mg/L) Mean 0.033 0.080 0.126

1The diversion for Chandler Canal is at the end of Mabton reach, but does not affect streamflow in the reach.

For additional information contact:
Director, Oregon Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2130 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201

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