Valley Creek Streamwalk Report

July 14, 2002

  • Team Leader: Jim Podlesny
  • Others: Gwen Dopp, Megan Corby, Kayo Maede (guest from Japan)
  • Hours, Sites, Distances: 9 to noon at old sites 5, 4, 3, 2 on Valley Creek: Two Streamwalk sites surveyed. Approximately 2 miles walked, with 12 person-hours spent.


Our Streamwalk began with a reverse order of the suggested top-down walk. We toured the new estuary and facilities and then drove up Valley Street for a look at old reach 2 and 3 where we parked for a hike up to the fish ladder under Highway 101. We conducted a Streamwalk survey of old reach 4.

After the bottom-half hike, we drove to the upper trailhead of the Vern Samuelson Trail and hiked down to Highway 10, examining the riparian zone, old reach 5, and surveying a reach near the highway.



The team saw evidence of original logging (stumps) along with old-growth trees, and the location of trails used by Black Diamond students hiking to school.

Land Uses

Witnessed the urban lower Valley Creek contrasted with the wilderness upper part.

Vegetation / Canopy

The vegetated corridor is wide above 101 and thins out below 101 with mostly deciduous cover.

Stream Bank Protection

The creek is channelized below old reach 3 and the team saw the concrete slabs and boulders armoring the channel.

Channel Habitat

We saw mostly riffles in the lower part, but there are pools. There seems to be enough LWD in the creek. Japanese Knotweed is prevalent in the lower stream area. It does provide shading until the creek reaches the culvert.

Red Flags

Other than the noxious weeds noted on our surveys, we did not notice problems. The white foam problem from Mill Creek is not prevalent in the low-water summer flows.

Overall Assessment

We were glad to see remediation work being done on the stream and the new meander being completed. We liked the new trail cut along the west bank of the project area, and did not think it posed an erosion problem, especially considering the extent of the earth-moving being done there.

Future Suggestions

We realize that next to JCL Creek, Valley Creek is the next most worked on stream right now. The team leader will continue to work on identifying the white foam on Mill Creek as either man-made or natural despite the city and county's apparent disregard for its nature and origin!