This Month at WFRC

Release Date:

This page contains WFRC "Highlights" reported May, 2019


USGS Western Fisheries Research Center Scientist Nominated for the 2018 Rachel Carson Award for Exemplary Scientific Accomplishment: WFRC research scientist Russell Perry was recently recognized as a finalist for the Rachel Carson Award for Exemplary Scientific Accomplishment. The nomination was in recognition for his contribution to the Klamath River Juvenile Salmon Disease Team in identifying, for the first time, a succinct and unifying understanding of the state-of the science regarding the various aspect of the C. shasta lifecycle, contributing to both improved partnership and conservation of fisheries in the Klamath basin. The Rachel Carson Award for Exemplary Scientific Accomplishment is an award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that recognizes an individual and/or team for scientific excellence through the rigorous practice of science applied to a conservation problem.

Contact: Russell Perry,

Publication Selected in the Wildlife Society’s 2019 Best Paper Awards Shortlist: paper in Ecological Monographs about the physical and biological changes to the Elwha estuary has made the 2019 shortlist for The Wildlife Society's best papers award. The Wildlife Society’s Publication Awards Committee named five recent journal articles to a shortlist in the best monograph category. The paper is co-authored by scientists from multiple USGS centers (Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, Fort Collins Science Center, Western Fisheries Research Center) and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. To learn more, visit

Contact: Jeff Duda,

New Publications

USGS Study Describes Distribution Patterns of Adult Spring Chinook Salmon in Relation to Reservoir Water Temperatures in the Cowlitz River: Scientists from the Western Fisheries Research Center recently completed a report documenting how adult spring Chinook salmon distribute within a reservoir on the Cowlitz River, Washington, in relation to summer water temperatures. Adult spring Chinook salmon were tagged with temperature-sensing radio transmitters and monitored during June–October 2012 to determine if fish were exposed to water temperatures in the 18–20 oC range, which have been shown to be stressful for Pacific salmon species. Researchers found that most fish utilized temperatures less than 16 oC during most of the study but cautioned that 2012 was a relatively cool year compared to others in the recent 10-year period.

Kock, T.J., B.K. Ekstrom, and T.L. Liedtke. 2018. Distribution of adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in relation to water temperatures, Lake Scanewa, Cowlitz River, Washington, 2012: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1055, 14 p.

Contact: Toby Kock, or Theresa Liedtke,

New Publication Examines Effectiveness of Fish Screens on Protecting Lampreys: Thousands of screened water diversions throughout the Columbia River Basin are sources of entrainment (unintended diversion into unsafe passage routes), injury and mortality for a range of fish species. Screening criteria have been developed to reduce and mitigate these effects, but potential effects of these screens on juvenile and larval lampreys is largely unknown. In a recent USGS report, prepared in cooperation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, McNary Fisheries Compensation Committee, and Yakama Nation Fisheries, scientists compare entrainment, impingement and injury rates of larval lamprey (ammocoetes) exposed to two screen angles. Scientists found some advantages of a 12-degree screen compared to a 20-degree screen for protecting lamprey, suggesting that screens installed more parallel to flow might warrant further testing.

Liedtke, T.L., D.J. Didricksen, L.K. Weiland, J.A. Ragala, and R. Lampman. 2019. Effectiveness of fish screens in protecting lamprey (Entosphenus and Lampetra spp.) Ammocoetes – Pilot testing of variable screen angle. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1044. DOI:

Contact: Marty Liedtke,, 509-538-2963.

USGS Study Describes Movement Patterns of Adult Sockeye Salmon in the Reach Between Roza Dam and Cle Elum Dam on the Yakima River, Washington: Scientists from the Western Fisheries Research Center recently completed a report on movement patterns of adult sockeye salmon in the upper Yakima River, Washington.  Adult sockeye salmon were tagged with radio transmitters at Roza Dam during 2018 and monitored as they moved upstream to Cle Elum Dam.  The Bureau of Reclamation is working to provide volitional fish passage at Cle Elum Dam and provided funding for the study to determine if fish could move upstream from Roza Dam and successfully arrive in the Cle Elum Dam tailrace.  Under current conditions adult salmon and steelhead are collected at Roza Dam and transported to upstream areas where they are released.  The study found that all the radio-tagged sockeye salmon (n=20) arrived at Cle Elum Dam with a median travel time of 17 d.

Kock, T.J., S.D. Evans, B.K. Ekstrom, and A.C. Hansen. 2019. Adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) behavior and movement from Roza Dam to Cle Elum Dam, Washington, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1053, 8 p. DOI:

Contact: Toby Kock,, 509-538-2915.