Silver Creek drains an area of approximately 9.4 square miles, originating in a series of small ponds and wetlands in the northwest corner of the City of Bellingham. The stream flows north, then west for approximately seven miles before emptying into the Nooksack River. There are two large tributaries (Bear Creek and Lost Creek), and numerous smaller streams. Only the extreme headwaters of Bear Creek are currently located within the city limits; however, the majority of the Silver Creek basin is contained within the city’s Urban Growth Area.
The Silver Creek basin provides almost 20 miles of habitat for anadromous salmonids. According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), chum and Coho salmon are found in the lower reaches of Silver Creek. However, no anadromous fish have been identified using tributary areas within the city. The City has not conducted spawning surveys or other fish studies in Silver Creek to date.
Currently there are no restoration projects planned for Silver Creek. The majority of the creek runs through rural residential area and farmland. Silver and Bear Creeks are listed on the Department of Ecology’s 2004 303(d) list as impaired for dissolved oxygen and fecal coliform. The City of Bellingham has collected monthly data on water quality at one site on Silver Creek since 2004 as part of the Urban Streams Monitoring Program.