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Fisheries Program

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Our fisheries researchers are world-class scientists. They conduct cutting-edge research to provide fisheries resource managers the scientific information they need in order to protect, restore, and enhance our Nation’s fisheries and their habitats.

Unconventional Oil and Gas Impacts Aquatic Communities

Unconventional Oil and Gas Impacts Aquatic Communities

A new USGS publication evaluates the effects of unconventional oil and gas on streams: Stream Vulnerability to Widespread and Emergent Stressors--A Focus on Unconventional Oil and Gas

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Saving the Salmon

Saving the Salmon

New publication from USGS documents results from a study which shows that infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus may become a major threat to farmed Atlantic salmon in other regions of the world where the virus has been, or may be, introduced.

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Fisheries Research

USGS scientists study life history, population ecology, and conservation and restoration strategies for aquatic species and the habitats that sustain them.

Connectivity & Ecological Flows

Aquatic Health

Aquatic Communities

Advanced Technologies and Tools

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News

Issue5.8August2017Thumb
September 18, 2017

Science to Support Salmon Recovery Efforts in the Puget Sound

issue5.7july2017thumb
July 20, 2017

In Memoriam - Dr. William "Dave" Woodson, 1956-2017

Issue5.6June2017Thumb
July 12, 2017

Dr. Diane Elliott Retires After Long Distinguished Career

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Male Okaloosa darter
September 26, 2017

This website provides access to the list of imperiled freshwater and diadromous fishes of North America as determined by the 2008 American Fisheries Society (AFS) Endangered Species Committee (ESC) on Fishes....

A cutthroat trout up close. James Roberts photo. USGS.
August 29, 2016

Piscicides have been used in Rocky Mountain stream and lakes to restore native fish populations. In the last two decades concerns over piscicide effects to non-target organisms, primarily aquatic invertebrates, has increased. Although piscicides have been used for more than 70 years the impact to invertebrate assemblages has not been well studied and is largely unknown. Given the...

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 26, 2016

Understanding disease to support the management and restoration of aquatic species.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 26, 2016

Research on stressors and habitat requirements of imperiled aquatic species to inform their restoration.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 26, 2016

Research and technology for restoring aquatic species and aquatic habitats.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 26, 2016

Aquatic species diversity is the hallmark of healthy aquatic ecosystems.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 26, 2016

These tools offer invaluable insights into fishery resource problems.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 26, 2016

Functional relationships among aquatic species for conserving and restoring aquatic community function.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 26, 2016

Improving fish passage is vital for restoring populations of salmon and other migratory fish.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 26, 2016

Rivers are the conduit between inland waters and the oceans for fish, nutrients, and sediments

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An Online Database for IHN Virus
July 27, 2017

An Online Database for IHN Virus in Pacific Salmonid Fish: MEAP-IHNV

The Molecular Epidemiology of Aquatic Pathogens (MEAP)-IHNV Database

The MEAP-IHNV database provides access to detailed data for anyone interested in IHNV molecular epidemiology, such as fish health professionals, fish culture facility managers, and academic researchers.

USGS Dam Removal Information Portal (DRIP) Screenshot
October 31, 2016

USGS Dam Removal Information Portal (DRIP)

The Dam Removal Information Portal is a Web site that serves information about the scientific studies associated with dam-removal projects. It is a visualization tool, including a map and interactive charts, of a dam-removal literature review designed and developed by a working group at the USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis (Bellmore and others, 2015).

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Year Published: 2016

A simple web-based tool to compare freshwater fish data collected using AFS standard methods

The American Fisheries Society (AFS) recently published Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. Enlisting the expertise of 284 scientists from 107 organizations throughout Canada, Mexico, and the United States, this text was developed to facilitate comparisons of fish data across regions or time. Here we describe...

Bonar, Scott A.; Mercado-Silva, Norman; Rahr, Matt; Torrey, Yuta T.; Cate, Averill

Year Published: 2015

Population trends and survival of nesting green sea turtles Chelonia mydas on Aves Island, Venezuela

Long-term demographic data are valuable for assessing the effect of anthropogenic impacts on endangered species and evaluating recovery programs. Using a 2-state open robust design model, we analyzed mark-recapture data from green turtles Chelonia mydas sighted between 1979 and 2009 on Aves Island, Venezuela, a rookery heavily impacted...

Garcia-Cruz, Marco A.; Lampo, Margarita; Peñaloza, Claudia L.; Kendall, William; Solé, Genaro; Rodriguez-Clark, Kathryn M.

Year Published: 2015

Detection probabilities of electrofishing, hoop nets, and benthic trawls for fishes in two western North American rivers

Research comparing different sampling techniques helps improve the efficiency and efficacy of sampling efforts. We compared the effectiveness of three sampling techniques (small-mesh hoop nets, benthic trawls, boat-mounted electrofishing) for 30 species in the Green (WY, USA) and Kootenai (ID, USA) rivers by estimating conditional detection...

Smith, Christopher D.; Quist, Michael C.; Hardy, Ryan S.

Year Published: 2015

Assessment of general health of fishes collected at selected sites in the Great Lakes Basin In 2012

During the past decade, there has been a substantive increase in the detection of “emerging contaminants”, defined as a new substance, chemical, or metabolite in the environment; or a legacy substance with a newly expanded distribution, altered release, or a newly recognized effect (such as endocrine disruption). Emerging contaminants...

Mazik, Patricia M.; Braham, Ryan P.; Hahn, Cassidy M.; Blazer, Vicki

Year Published: 2015

River mainstem thermal regimes influence population structuring within an Appalachian brook trout population

Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) often exist as highly differentiated populations, even at small spatial scales, due either to natural or anthropogenic sources of isolation and low rates of dispersal. In this study, we used molecular approaches to describe the unique population structure of brook trout inhabiting the Shavers Fork watershed,...

Aunins, Aaron W.; Petty, J. Todd; King, Timothy L.; Schilz, Mariya; Mazik, Patricia M.

Year Published: 2014

Use of glacier river-fed estuary channels by juvenile coho salmon: transitional or rearing habitats?

Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems in the world and provide important rearing environments for a variety of fish species. Though generally considered important transitional habitats for smolting salmon, little is known about the role that estuaries serve for rearing and the environmental conditions important for salmon. We...

Hoem Neher, Tammy D.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Walker, Coowe M.; Baird, Steven J.
Hoem Neher, T. D., A. E. Rosenberger, C. E. Zimmerman, C. M. Walker, and S. J. Baird. 2013. Use of glacier river-fed estuary channels by juvenile coho salmon: Transitional or rearing habitats. Environmental Biology of Fishes. doi:10.1007/s10641-013-0183-x

Year Published: 2014

A nuclear DNA perspective on delineating evolutionarily significant lineages in polyploids: the case of the endangered shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum)

The shortnose sturgeon, Acipenser brevirostrum, oft considered a phylogenetic relic, is listed as an “endangered species threatened with extinction” in the US and “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Effective conservation of A. brevirostrum depends on understanding its diversity and evolutionary processes, yet challenges associated with the...

King, Timothy L.; Henderson, Anne P.; Kynard, Boyd E.; Kieffer, Micah C.; Peterson, Douglas L.; Aunins, Aaron W.; Brown, Bonnie L.
A nuclear DNA perspective on delineating evolutionarily significant lineages in polyploids: the case of the endangered shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum); 2014; Article; Journal; PLoS ONE; King, Timothy L.; Henderson, Anne P.; Kynard, Boyd E.; Kieffer, Micah C.; Peterson, Douglas L; Aunins, Aaron W.; Brown, Bonnie L.

Year Published: 2014

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) leukocytes express estrogen receptor isoforms ERα and ERβ2 and are functionally modulated by estrogens

Estrogens are recognized as modulators of immune responses in mammals and teleosts. While it is known that the effects of estrogens are mediated via leukocyte-specific estrogen receptors (ERs) in humans and mice, leucocyte-specific estrogen receptor expression and the effects of estrogens on this cell population is less explored and poorly...

Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Stafford, James L.; Patiño, Reynaldo; Bengten, Eva; Miller, Norman W.; Blazer, Vicki
Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) leukocytes express estrogen receptor isoforms ERα and ERβ2 and are functionally modulated by estrogens; 2014; Article; Journal; Fish & Shell Immunology; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Stafford, James L.; Patiño, Reynaldo; Bengten, Eva; Miller, Norman W.; Blazer, Vicki S.

Year Published: 2014

Development and characterization of 16 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the Alaska blackfish (Esociformes: Dallia pectoralis)

Blackfishes (Esociformes: Esocidae: Dallia), small fishes with relictual distributions, are unique in being the only primary freshwater fish genus endemic to Beringia. Although the number of species of Dallia is debated, disjunct populations and distinct mitochondrial divisions that predate the end of the last glacial maximum are apparent. We...

Campbell, Matthew A.; Sage, George K.; DeWilde, Rachel L.; López, J. Andres; Talbot, Sandra L.
Development and characterization of 16 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the Alaska blackfish (Esociformes: Dallia pectoralis); 2014; Article; Journal; Conservation Genetics Resources; Campbell, Matthew A.; Sage, George K.; DeWilde, Rachel L.; López, J. Andres; Talbot, Sandra L.

Year Published: 2014

Physiological and ecological effects of increasing temperature on fish production in lakes of Arctic Alaska

Lake ecosystems in the Arctic are changing rapidly due to climate warming. Lakes are sensitive integrators of climate-induced changes and prominent features across the Arctic landscape, especially in lowland permafrost regions such as the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Despite many studies on the implications of climate warming, how fish...

Carey, Michael P.; Zimmerman, Christian E.
Physiological and ecological effects of increasing temperature on fish production in lakes of Arctic Alaska; 2014; Article; Journal; Ecology and Evolution; Carey, Michael P.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

Year Published: 2014

Experimental methods fail to address the questions posed in studies of surgical techniques

No abstract available.

Mulcahy, Daniel M.
Experimental methods fail to address the questions posed in studies of surgical techniques; 2014; Article; Journal; Fisheries Research; Mulcahy, Daniel M.

Year Published: 2014

Recolonization of the intertidal and shallow subtidal community following the 2008 eruption of Alaska’s Kasatochi Volcano

The intertidal and nearshore benthic communities of Kasatochi Island are described following a catastrophic volcanic eruption in 2008. Prior to the eruption, the island was surrounded by a dense bed of canopy-forming dragon kelp Eualaria fistulosa which supported a productive nearshore community. The eruption extended the coastline of the island...

Jewett, S.C.; Drew, Gary S.
Recolonization of the intertidal and shallow subtidal community following the 2008 eruption of Alaska’s Kasatochi Volcano; 2014; Article; Journal; Biogeosciences Discuss; Jewett, S.C.; Drew, Gary S.

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Woman leaning over collecting sturgeon free embryos outside
2017 (approx.)

A biological science technician collects pallid sturgeon free embryos from the sampling nets in the experimental streams at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.

A female scientists overlooks swimming chambers for pallid sturgeon
2017 (approx.)

A biological science technician prepares the swim chambers to assess the swimming abilities of young pallid sturgeon.

Logs and debris floating in a river
June 12, 2017

Logs and debris are a common occurrence during recent high flows in the Yellowstone River.

Person placing a pallid sturgeon into the water from the side of a boat.
June 1, 2017

Student Services contractor, Tanner, Cox releasing a pallid sturgeon on the Yellowstone River. 

Female scientist looking through microscope.
2017 (approx.)

Biological science aid, Marlee Malmborg, examines and records the viability of pallid sturgeon eggs at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.

2016 (approx.)

Watch as the USGS Hammond Bay Biological Station water tank and pump house are constructed from the ground up! This short video features time lapse photography of the 1-million gallon water tank and pump house constructed to supply water to a state-of-the-art aquatic science laboratory. Laboratory construction will occur over the next several years and will also be chronicled with time lapse photography. 
 

August 25, 2016

Permanent Site: E2 East Transect; Depth: 14.3 Meters (46.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.9 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15653002,-123.56130401; Site Description: This is one of our deeper sites. Substrate is mainly gravel/cobble with an occasional boulder. A few brown acid kelps (Desmarestia spp. at 0:06 seconds) and red seaweeds are present but only in first ten meters of transect. Featherduster tubes worms Schizobranchia insignis (pale orange blotches at 1:19 seconds) continue to be abundant as well as truncate softshell clams Mya truncata. Red sea urchins are scattered along last ten meters of transect (1:50-2:17seconds).
 

August 25, 2016

Permanent Site: E2 West Transect; Depth: 14.6 Meters (47.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.9 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15653002, -123.56197605; Site Description: This is one of our deeper sites. Substrate is mainly gravel/cobble with scattered boulders. A few small red and brown seaweeds, mainly acid kelp Desmarestia spp. (0:25, 0:47 seconds) have returned. The featherduster tubes worm Schizobranchia insignis is abundant. Red sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) are scattered along entire transect (0:28, 1:22, 1:34 seconds). Others invertebrates seen on video: staghorn bryozoan Heteropora pacifica (yellow clump on boulder at 0:59 seconds).
 

August 24, 2016

Permanent Site: J1 West Transect; Depth: 9.8 Meters (32.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 6.6 Kilometers (4.1 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13607725,-123.48002186; Site Description: This site is medium depth. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:25 seconds) and brown seaweed growth is dense and appears to be at pre-dam removal levels. Eight species of brown seaweed were recorded and consist mainly of the perennial seaweed Pterygophora californica, Saccharina spp. (0:36, 1:16 seconds), acid kelp Desmarestia (2:16 seconds) and Laminaria ephemera. Alaria marginata (2:01 seconds) and three-ribbed kelp Cymathere triplicata (0:08 seconds) were also present. Two tubeworm species are still very abundant, Eudistylia vancouveri (0:59, 1:13 seconds) and Schizobranchia insignis, as well as butter clams (Saxidomus gigantea). The siphon of a rough paddock (Zirfaea pilsbryi) is seen on right of tape at 1:23 seconds.
 

August 24, 2016

Permanent Site: D2 West Transect; Depth: 12.8 Meters (41.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.3 Kilometers (0.2 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal Lat/Long: 48.15233001,-123.56896603; Site Description: This site is right off the mouth of the river. Substrate is mainly gravel with some cobble. Dead clam shells are scattered everywhere (2:14 seconds). Small woody debris is present (2:08, 2:14 seconds). Both brown and red seaweeds have returned (2:00 seconds) but are not abundant. A few small bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) were noted but do not appear on video. Invertebrates were present but not abundant. Invertebrates seen on video: sand-rose anemone Urticina columbiana (0:41 seconds).
 

August 23, 2016

Permanent Control Site: GP1 East Transect; Depth: 7.5 m (24.7 feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long:; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding numerous large boulders. Red (1:34 seconds) and brown seaweed was abundant. Four species of browns were recorded and mainly consisted of the perennial seaweed Pterygophora californica (0:17-0:19seconds), Saccharina spp. (0:29, 1:21 seconds) and Pleurophycus gardneri (1:47 seconds). The pink growth on boulders is crustose coralline algae (1:44, 1:53 seconds). Green sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) were still very abundant, especially in the last 10 meters of the transect (1:53-2:00 seconds). 
 

August 23, 2016

Permanent Control Site: GP1 West Transect; Depth: 7.9 m (25.9 feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31605203; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding numerous large boulders. Red (1:58seconds) and brown seaweed was abundant. Eight species of browns were recorded and mainly consisted of the perennial seaweed Pterygophora californica (0:20, 0:25 seconds) and Pleurophycus gardneri (0:29, 2:11 seconds). Bull kelp Nereocystis luetkeana was also present (1:43, 2:03 seconds). Growing on a boulder at 0:28 seconds are pink crustose coralline algae and yellow staghorn bryozoa (Heteropora pacifica). Green sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) were present (0:26 seconds) but not as abundant as the east transect (see video ‘GP1 East Transect – 2016’). USGS diver Steve Rubin can be seen surveying at 0:59 seconds.
 

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Issue5.8August2017Thumb
September 18, 2017

Science to Support Salmon Recovery Efforts in the Puget Sound

Issue5.6June2017Thumb
July 12, 2017

Dr. Diane Elliott Retires After Long Distinguished Career

Issue5.5May2017Thumb
June 15, 2017

Exploring the Role of Non-Native American Shad in the Columbia River Basin

Issue4.3March2016Thumb
April 6, 2017

Understanding the Effects of Temperature on Diseases in Fish

Issue5.3March2017Thumb
April 4, 2017

Early Detection Monitoring May Not Be Sufficient for Invasive Mussels in the Columbia River Basin

Chinook Salmon
March 13, 2017

The water in the Delta arrives primarily from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, supplying water for more than 22 million people. This water source supports California’s trillion-dollar economy—the sixth largest in the world—and its $27 billion agricultural industry.

Issue5.1January2017Thumb
February 13, 2017

Olfactory Cues Provide Insight into Lamprey Behavior and Physiology

Issue4.10October2016Thumb
November 28, 2016

Transporting Fish around Impassable Dams:  An Opportunity and Challenge for Reintroductions

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