Chapter 173-201A WAC, (salmon spawning habitat)

We have started a rulemaking to revise chapter 173-201A WAC, Water Quality Standards for Surface Waters of the State of Washington.

This rulemaking will consider revising WAC 173-201A-200(1) Aquatic life uses, to provide additional water quality and habitat protection for early life stages of salmonids—including salmon, steelhead, and trout—and their spawning gravel. We will consider two general revisions in this rulemaking:

  1. Revising the freshwater dissolved oxygen (DO) criteria to better protect early life stages of salmonids in spawning gravel.
  2. Adding fine sediment criteria to provide additional protection for spawning gravel habitat.

Other sections of Chapter 173-201A WAC may be amended, as necessary, to support any revisions to the sections noted above.

Rulemaking timeline


Announcement phase (CR-101)

Filing date:
Dec. 2, 2019

Announcement documents

Rule development phase

Dec. 2, 2019 - Fall 2021

Public input & involvement

October 8, 2020: Webinar on the Salmon Spawning Habitat Protection Rule

View presentation slides (pdf)

The purpose of this webinar is to provide background information on the rule and discuss our process for rule development.

We covered the following topics during this webinar:

  • Overview of Washington's surface water quality standards
  • The science behind this rulemaking
  • The current freshwater dissolved oxygen and narrative criteria
  • Reasons for revising the water quality standards
  • Preliminary options and considerations for criteria development
  • Formation of a science advisory group
  • Considerations for implementing the rule
  • Tentative rulemaking timeline

Additional languages

Español (Spanish) 中文 (Chinese) Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) 한국어 (Korean)


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