Western Fisheries Research Center
Restoration Ecology and Species Recovery
The WFRC conducts research that elucidates how landscape level stressors like climate, land use, and water availability affect culturally, ecologically, and economically important species and ecosystems. This information is vital for informing decisions involved with restoration ecology and species recovery, by increasing the effectiveness of restoration programs. The WFRC conducts multifaceted research related to the restoration of ecosystems and the recovery of imperiled species.
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Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For more information, please see www.doi.gov/shutdown
The Ecology Section examines how environmental variability, human activities and infrastructure influence food web interactions and species performance in freshwater and marine ecosystems. We have extensive experience in quantifying aquatic food web processes as they relate to growth, survival and production of key species of interest, especially resident and anadromous salmonids.
The focus of our research is the ecological analysis of Pacific Northwest fishes through age and growth structures such as: scales, fin rays and otoliths (small calcium carbonate deposits beneath the brain used in hearing and balance that grow in proportion to the overall growth of the fish). These structures are utilized as research tools for understanding life histories and habitat...
Salmonid Population and Life History Research in Tributary Stream and River Habitats and Response to Dam Removal
Juvenile anadromous salmonids all spend some portion of their lives in freshwater. This time may vary from days to years depending upon species and run. Spring Chinook Salmon and Coho salmon generally spend one year in freshwater and Steelhead may spend up to five years in freshwater prior to beginning their journey to sea. Several projects at WFRC – CRRL are investigating populations, life-...
A study was conducted to identify habitat characteristics associated with age 0 White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus Richardson, 1863) recruitment in three reaches of the Columbia River Basin: Skamania reach (consistent recruitment), John Day reach (intermittent/inconsistent recruitment), and Kootenai reach (no recruitment).
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.
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...
Scientific Support of Salmon and Steelhead Reintroductions in Impounded River Basins of the Pacific Northwest
Salmon and steelhead populations in the Pacific Northwest were severely affected by hydropower development that occurred during the first half of the 20th century. Impassable dams were constructed on many rivers throughout the region which prevented returning adult salmonids from accessing important habitats where spawning and rearing historically occurred. In the past two decades...
Snake River fall Chinook salmon were listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 1992. At that time, little was known about the spawning, rearing, migration, and life history of this species. This long-term research and monitoring project has produced much of the contemporary knowledge on fall Chinook salmon that has been used by fish managers to implement recovery measures. The...
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.
Scientist - Areas of Expertise