Using river & stream flow data

A map-based data application provides near real-time data about streamflow and water quality for many rivers and streams in Washington state. Watch a video on how to move around the data application. Learn how to:

  • Find streamflow data from a map.
  • Find streamflow data by watershed/ Water Resource Inventory Area.
  • Navigate our streamflow monitoring network, step-by-step.

Find streamflow data from a map

Watch a short video tutorial on finding freshwater data or click on the map icon below to access the map-based database for our flow monitoring network.

Video Tutorial: Finding Freshwater Data in the Flow Monitoring Network Application

Flow Monitoring Network has nearly real-time river and stream data.

Find your watershed monitoring stations

Washington's river basin watersheds are identified by Water Resource Inventory Area. Select a watershed with this WRIA map. Once you determine the WRIA of interest, use the drop-down menu below to go to your watershed's first station page in the Flow Monitoring Network application. From there, the listing under the map on the right-hand side of the page contains the stations in that WRIA.

Navigating streamflow station network

Flow Monitoring Network station pages show current and archival data for all parameters collected at each station. These data are collected every 15 minutes and are transmitted by satellite to our computers every one or three hours, depending on the station.

See streamflow monitoring methods to learn more about what parameters we measure.

Many pages also link to the Freshwater Information Network application showing long-term data from manually collected samples and summaries of water-quality data for those stations. Learn more about these data in River & stream water quality monitoring.

When you click on a station location, a box should pop up outlining the station’s GPS location and contact information for the staff member responsible for the station.
On the right side of each station page is a map of the Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) or watershed. In the map are icons for other stations monitored in this same WRIA. These stations are also listed below the map. To review more sites within the WRIA, click the icon on the map or click the station name directly from the list. To review historical stations in the WRIA (those that have been discontinued due to project duration or budget reduction), check the box to “show historical” gages. These historical stations will appear on the map and in list form denoted with an (h) after the station type. Below the map is also a WRIA drop-down list that you can use to easily navigate between WRIAs across the state.
Below the map and station details, you may see a light blue or yellow message box. These boxes contain warning messages that appear if the discharge record could be affected in some way, often by channel ice or the growth of aquatic plants. Some messages may note recent damage or vandalism, affecting the data for some parameter.
Click on the tabs, as pictured below, to find all parameters collected at this station location. The "General" tab usually contains a station photo and station description. Other tabs reveal data for other water-quality parameters. Not all sites are monitored for all types of data.

Each page that collects data displays a seven-day graph. This graph leads up to and ends with the present day. Through each day, the graph updates on 1-hour or 3-hour cycles, depending on the parameter. At midnight, the seven-day window moves forward one day.