The Watershed and Stream
The Watershed: The Terrell Creek watershed is located in northwestern Whatcom County, Washington State. The watershed covers 27 square miles (17,280 acres) of low elevation area draining into Birch Bay and Georgia Strait. The upper watershed is home to commercial farms, small farms, rural residences, and large industrial facilities. The lower watershed is home to variety of residential neighborhoods, vacation homes, RV parks, and public parks.
The Stream: Terrell Creek originates in a large area of ponds and wetlands including Lake Terrell. Fingalson Creek and Butler Ditch are two significant tributaries. After leaving Lake Terrell, Terrell Creek flows through rural and agricultural areas and then flows along the edge of Birch Bay State Park. Here the creek parallels the Bay and Birch Bay Drive before flowing into Birch Bay in a heavily urbanized area. Birch Bay is an area of shallow and expansive tide flats that provide habitat to a variety of marine life and is a popular shellfish harvesting destination.
Fish and Wildlife
Terrell Creek provides habitat for coho, chum, steelhead, coastal and resident trout, as well as non-native fish like bass, yellow perch, and catfish. The watershed is also home to the 2nd largest great blue heron colony in Whatcom County and houses 170 bird species, including bald eagles and red-tail hawks. Lake Terrell is the primary feature in a 1,500 acre wildlife and game reserve managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Fishing and waterfowl hunting are the most common lake uses. Lake Terrell was recently improved with the construction of a new fishing pier. Birch Bay is a well known shellfish harvesting area that is home to Horse, Eastern, Butter, Cockle, Native Litttleneck, Manila and Varnish clams.