Water Quality Monitoring

The Spokane Riverkeeper uses science to change policy and engage the public. We currently focus our monitoring on water temperature and turbidity. We are developing a set of water quality procedures to evaluate water quality at popular swimming beaches in the Spokane area.

The Spokane River and it’s tributaries of Hangman Creek and the Little Spokane River have pollution issues that arise from different sources. The Spokane River is plagued by toxic PCBs and metals, while Hangman Creek suffers from the effects of nonpoint source pollution, which contains sediment, nutrients, bacteria, and high temperatures. Our innovative lawsuit against the EPA is helping to clean-up nonpoint source pollution in the Hangman Creek basin. Lake Spokane has very low dissolved oxygen levels and can contain toxic algal blooms, which are the result of high nutrient loading from industry and non-point source pollution entering the reservoir via the Spokane River.


Water Temperature

Placing and finding water temperature loggers in Garden Springs. This creek stays cool year round due to ample riparian vegetation and cool influx of groundwater.

Placing and finding water temperature loggers in Garden Springs. This creek stays cool year round due to ample riparian vegetation and cool influx of groundwater.

The Spokane Riverkeeper monitors water temperature in the Spokane River and Hangman Creek during the hot summer months. In many cases, water temperature exceeds state standards creating unsuitable habitat for our native redband trout. In many cases, high water temperatures are due to the removal of shade producing riparian vegetation. Check out our water temperature reports below.

2018 Hangman Creek Water Temperature

2018 Spokane River Water Temperature

2017 Hangman Creek Water Temperature

2017 Spokane River Water Temperature

2016 Spokane River and Hangman Creek Water Temperature

2015 Water Temperature Wrap Up





Turbidity and Sediment

Hangman Creek pollutes the Spokane River with tons of sediment each day in the spring, choking sensitive native redband trout and burying their nests.

Hangman Creek pollutes the Spokane River with tons of sediment each day in the spring, choking sensitive native redband trout and burying their nests.

Each spring Hangman Creek fills with sediment, spewing tons of dirt into the Spokane River. This cloudy water is bad for fish, macroinvertebrates, and all who depend on them.

The Spokane Riverkeeper, with help from Spokane Fall Trout Unlimited, leads a citizen science monitoring group to study water transparency (turbidity) in Hangman Creek and the Spokane River. If you’d like to help, please contact us and we will get you started!

Read More:

Turbidity Report 2018

Turbidity 2018 presentation



Watch our series of videos from Cutboard Studio explaining some of the issues we have in the Hangman Creek watershed.