Foster Creek/Moses Coulee
Less than 5% of the Foster Creek Watershed is located within Okanogan County. The Foster Creek (WRIA 50) and Moses Coulee (WRIA 44) watersheds applied jointly for watershed planning funding. Both watersheds have very low populations with a little more than 30,000 people (population in Moses Coulee is 7,703 and 23,897 in Foster Creek) living in both watersheds, an area of 585,885 acres.
WRIA 50 encompasses about 578,182 acres and is located within the Columbia Basin and Northern Rockies ecoregion. The watershed receives approximately 10 inches of rain a year. The Columbia River runs across the basin from east to west and then in a southerly direction along the west edge of the WRIA. Bridgeport and Mansfield are the primary population centers. Primary land use in the basin is for range purposes (~ 69%) and agriculture (24%).
This valley was impacted by the melting of the Okanogan lobe of the Wisconsin Glacier. As the glacier melted, it retreated up the valley leaving behind a blanket of glacial till. Up to 50 feet thick, the till is composed of clay, silt, sand, gravel, cobbles, and boulders. This soil supports native vegetation composed of big sagebrush, bluebunch wheatgrass, three-tip sage, and Idaho fescue.
WRIA 44 encompasses nearly 730,029 acres and is located within the Columbia Basin ecoregion. This watershed receives only 7 inches of rainfall per year. The Columbia River runs south along the west edge of the WRIA. The primary population centers are East Wenatchee and Waterville.
Range and agriculture comprise the major land uses in the basin. (~97% of total land). The scablands and loess islands were formed as immense floods periodically broke through the ice dams blocking glacial Lake Missoula during the Pleistocene.
Soils are typically deep loess on hills and foothills. Potential natural vegetation is big sagebrush, bluebunch wheatgrass, Idaho fescue, and three-tip sagebrush.
Source: Washington Department of Ecology, WRIA Summaries.
For additional information about the Foster Creek/Moses Coulee watersheds, you are referred to the Foster Creek Conservation District. Their contact information is below.
Staff Contact Information