Managing River Flows

Lower Cedar River

Flows in the lower Cedar River are managed for multiple objectives.

The HCP establishes an instream flow management program that strives to provide beneficial conditions for instream resources throughout the year in the Cedar River below Chester Morse Reservoir. Cedar River instream flow management is guided by the Cedar River Instream Flow Commission.

The program includes:

  • Guaranteed flow regime that the City will meet or exceed at all times. The regime is targeted to provide beneficial base flow conditions for all life stages of salmon and steelhead
  • Downramping prescriptions that reduce the risk of fish stranding by limiting the rate at which stream flows may be decreased
  • In combination with the 2006 Muckleshoot Tribe/Seattle Settlement Agreement, limits on the City’s future diversions from the river to ensure sufficient discretionary water (over and above the guaranteed flows) remains available to adapt future flow management practices as new information becomes available
  • Research and monitoring to inform future flow management practices and a commitment to employ results in managing discretionary water for the benefit of instream resources.
  • Facility improvements at the Cedar Falls powerhouse and Masonry Dam for improved protection of fish and flows
  • Cost sharing with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers for improved fish passage conditions at the Ballard Locks
  • Funding for habitat protection and restoration in the lower Cedar River, downstream of the Seattle’s ownership boundary
  • Oversight by the interagency Cedar River Instream Flow Commission

Instream Flow Contacts

Water Resources Manager
Paul Faulds
Seattle Public Utilities
Phone: (206) 615-0021