The Kettle River originates in the Okanogan Highlands and Monashee Mountains of southern British Columbia and drains approximately 4,200 square miles. Roughly one-quarter of the Kettle River watershed (WRIA 60) lies within Washington State. The Washington portion of the watershed constitutes the southernmost 1,000 square miles and approximately 24% of the watershed is within Okanogan County. Two ecoregions are found in the watershed; the Northern Rockies and Columbia Basin ecoregion.
The major drainage in the watershed is the Kettle River, which flows into Washington near the town of Ferry, winds its way into and out of Cananda and then flows into the Columbia River at Kettle Falls. The Kettle River receives an estimated 15% of its flow from sources within Washington, with the remainder originating in British Columbia. Average annual streamflow for the Kettle River at Ferry, where it enters the United States, is 1,500 cubic feet per second and 2,900 cfs at Laurier. Streamflow varies considerably on a seasonal basis with summer and winter low flows often less than 300 cfs during most years. Average annual precipitation over the basin is about 18 inches a year.
There are approximately 2,804 people living in the Kettle Basin. The majority of people live in unincorporated areas. Approximately 73% of the land in the watershed is forested, with approximately 18% used for range land. Rugged, high mountains are the dominant feature of this region. Elevations are generally 1,300 to 8,00 feet. Mountains have sharply-crested ridges and steep slopes cut by steep walled narrow stream valleys. Soils are derived from acidic rock. Potential natural vegetation includes western white pine, lodgepole pine, western red cedar, Douglas fir, wheatgrass, fescue, and needlegrass.
Contact the Ferry County for additional information regarding watershed planning in WRIA 60.
Joy Osterberg, Clerk of the Board
290 E. Tessie Ave.
Republic, WA 99166
Phone (509) 775-5229
Fax (509) 775-5230