Western Fisheries Research Center

Aquatic Animal Health

The fish disease program at the WFRC includes a mix of basic and applied science focused on understanding the factors that control the distribution and severity of infectious diseases affecting both hatchery and wild fish. Aquatic health research includes work in virology, bacteriology, immunology, histology, molecular biology/genetics, fish pathogen ecology, epidemiology, and evolution, and genetics. We continue to develop methods and tools to understand the spread of disease in fish and help inform managers.

Filter Total Items: 17
Date published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Effects of Nanophyetus salmincola on the Health and Survival of Puget Sound Steelhead

Low early marine survival rates of Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), the state fish of Washington, have contributed to its dramatic population decline and current listing as a “Threatened Species” under the Endangered Species Act. Determining the cause(s) of this elevated mortality remains a primary objective of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, a large US / Canada effort...

Date published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Genomic Mechanisms that Underlie Lack of Recovery of Prince William Sound Herring Following the 1990s Collapse

In the decades following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS), it has become increasingly apparent that oil can be toxic at extremely low concentrations to developing fish embryos including herring, where some toxic phenotypes may be apparent during embryogenesis, but some are delayed until later in life. Therefore, acute and lingering oil may act as an insidious selective force within...

Contacts: Paul Hershberger, Ph.D., Jacob Gregg, Ashley MacKenzie, William Richards, Andrew Whitehead, John Incardona, Nat Scholtz
Date published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Herring Disease Program

Using an approach that involves a combination of field- and laboratory-based studies, we are investigating fish health factors that may be contributing to the failed recovery of Pacific herring populations in Prince William Sound, AK.  Field studies are providing infection and disease prevalence data to inform the population models, serological data that indicate the prior exposure history and...

Date published: September 4, 2018
Status: Active

Detection Protocols - Renibacterium salmoninarum

Protocols for the Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum in salmon

Date published: August 29, 2018
Status: Active

Molecular Characterization of Novel Fish Viruses from Technical Assistance Cases

Viruses occur in many cultured and wild stocks of fish. William Batts collaborates with many government, state, tribal, and private research and diagnostic laboratories to aid in identification of these unknown replicating agents of uncertain pathogenicity. Typically, viruses can be replicated in a variety of fish cell lines and investigated at several temperatures to see if the cytopathic...

Contacts: William N Batts
Date published: August 28, 2018
Status: Active

Species Studied by the Western Fisheries Research Center

Many species are studied at the Western Fisheries Research Center.  These species include bacteria, birds, fish, invertebrates, parasites, plants, and viruses. The list contains both common and scientific names, and where each are being studied on the WFRC landscape.

Date published: August 27, 2018
Status: Active

Non-lethal Detection of Skin Injuries in Juvenile Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha by Fast Green FCF Dye

In fish, as in humans, an intact epidermis is critical to defense against entry of pathogens into the skin. Macroscopic examination of scale loss is the principal method of evaluating physical damage to juvenile salmonids out-migrating through hydroelectric dams in the Snake and Columbia Rivers, and in fish subjected to capture and handling procedures in locations such as hatcheries, fish...

Date published: August 24, 2018
Status: Active

Contaminants in Puget Sound Forage Fishes and Impacts to the Marine Food Web

Toxic chemical pollutants have been released into Puget Sound for decades by human activities. There’s a wide range of contaminants, from persistent compounds like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and flame retardants to contaminants of emerging concern. Aquatic species can be exposed to and accumulate contaminants, causing disease or disruption of biological processes like growth or...

Date published: August 20, 2018
Status: Active

Investigation and Disease Prevention of Spring Viremia of Carp Virus (SVCV)

There has been long history of disease outbreaks and economic losses in wild and farmed carp species due to SVCV. Formerly thought to be restricted to Europe and Asia, SVCV was detected for the first time in North America from diseased koi at a North Carolina fish farm in 2002, and there were extensive eradication efforts with 135,000 fish euthanized in addition to the ~15,000 that died from...

Date published: June 12, 2018
Status: Active

Klamath Falls Field Station (KFFS)

The Klamath Falls Field Station (KFFS) was established in 1999 at Klamath Falls, Oregon, and conducts research within the Klamath River Basin.

Contacts: Eric Janney
Date published: June 12, 2018
Status: Active

Columbia River Research Laboratory (CRRL)

The Columbia River Research Laboratory (CRRL), the Center's largest field station, carries out research throughout the U.S. portion of the Columbia River's drainage basin in 5 western states.

Date published: June 12, 2018
Status: Active

Marrowstone Marine Field Station (MMFS)

Within the Northwest Region of the USGS the Marrowstone Marine Field Station (MMFS) represents the exclusive marine/seawater-based research facility.