Ball Creek Restoration
The Ball Creek project is part of a larger conservation project that includes the acquisition of the Matlock property. Ball Creek (WRIA 10.0405) is a small stream approximately 6 feet wide with about a 3 cfs mean flow and connects with the left bank Puyallup River at river mile 15. It is about 2.5 miles long and originates from springs emerging off the west valley wall. The stream has been documented to contain Coho and Pink salmon as well as Cutthroat trout (Ereth 2011 and Pierce County 2005). Prior to this restoration project, the stream encountered culverts, agriculture fields, railroad, residential duck ponds and a river revetment as it discharged into the Puyallup River. The riparian area consisted of a small strip of vegetation or none at all. The stream had been ditched to help drain the fields and received excess sediment from eroding soils, which in turn buried spawning gravels. There was also a partial barrier to upstream salmon migration at the mouth as the stream traverses the revetment. Summer flows were very low in the stream and often reached near lethal temperatures (high 60’s F) for salmon.
The project enhanced the lower one-half mile of Ball Creek by maximizing floodplain connectivity to the river and stream, planting riparian vegetation, producing a more natural stream meander pattern, and removing a partial fish passage barrier. Three barriers to fish migration were removed and 1,000 linear feet of new stream channel was constructed featuring a log jam at the confluence of Ball Creek and the Puyallup River.