WFRC Strategic Plan for Science 2015-2020

Science Center Objects

This strategic plan establishes a template for our science portfolio for the next five years.


The Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC) is one of 17 ecosystem-focused U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Science Centers across the United States. It is one of only two USGS science centers that focus exclusively on fisheries science. It is recognized as a national and international resource for research on fish disease, fish passage and restoration following dam removal. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the WFRC is geographically dispersed in the western U.S., with four field stations in Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Our geographic diversity across ecoregions promotes research relevant to a wide variety of fish such as lampreys, sturgeons, salmonids, cyprinids and catastomids, varied fish groups such as forage fishes and desert fishes, and other aquatic organisms and communities occupying the diverse ecoregions of the western U.S.

Vision Statement: Excellence in Aquatic and Fisheries Science

Mission: The mission of the WFRC is to provide the scientific understanding and the innovative technology needed to support sound management and conservation of our nation’s natural resources, with an emphasis on aquatic ecosystems, fisheries biology, and fish health. Our goal is that natural resource managers, policy makers, and the scientific community will recognize the WFRC as a premier source of objective and socially-relevant scientific information. To achieve this goal, the WFRC will maintain a highly skilled and adaptive workforce and infrastructure in order to be responsive to changing and emerging issues in aquatic ecosystems and fisheries biology. A priority for the WFRC is to provide the results of scientific research to resource managers in an effort to support informed decision making.

Science Plan Goals and Objectives

This strategic plan establishes a template for our science portfolio for the next five years. After reviewing the overarching U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and USGS science objectives, as well as the research priorities of our partners, we have identified the following three strategic science directions:

  • Drivers of Ecosystem Change
  • Aquatic Animal Health
  • Restoration Ecology and Species Recovery

These directions are interrelated and often overlapping. Although this plan provides strategic direction for the next five years, clearly most of the research topics addressed within will continue into the future. The plan will be used as a road map to ensure that the WFRC is well positioned to address the next generation of science priorities.

Download a copy of the Strategic Plan.