Unified Interior Regions

Washington

Washington's Puget Sound is a complex ecosystem directly adjacent to a robust metropolitan area that scientists from the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center study. Recent surveys have looked at juvenile surf smelt, a key link in the food web that are consumed by predators such as salmon, orca, and many marine birds. 

Western Fisheries Research Center

Western Fisheries Research Center

Research at the WFRC focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations including their interactions in aquatic communities and ecosystems. 

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Washington Water Science Center

Washington Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States and the State of Washington.

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States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 270
Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Quinault Groundwater

The Issue: Located on the north coast of Washington within the Queets-Quinault Watershed, the Quinault Indian Nation's coastal communities rely on groundwater as their sole source of drinking water. Climate change can directly affect groundwater throughout the watershed, particularly worrisome in vulnerable coastal aquifers. The Quinault Indian Nation will be collecting...

Contacts: Sue Kahle
Date published: December 1, 2016
Status: Active

Riparian Ecology

Riparian ecologists in the AS Branch study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. For example,...

Date published: November 29, 2016

Riparian Vegetation Response to Dam Removal

Dam removal is an approach to river restoration that is becoming increasingly common. In most cases, dam removal is driven by considerations other than river restoration like dam safety, but how dam removal affects aquatic and riparian systems is of great interest in many dam removals. My work in this area has had two areas of focus thus far: 1) studies of vegetation and geomorphic change...

Date published: November 28, 2016

Streamflow-fluvial Geomorphology-riparian Vegetation Interactions

The foundation for applying science to river and riparian restoration contexts lies in a basic understanding of the factors that drive riparian vegetation dynamics. Much of our research is focused on clarifying relationships between streamflow, fluvial geomorphology, and riparian vegetation, including various feedbacks.

Date published: November 2, 2016

Western Drought Resilience Assessment

We collected streamflow, water temperature, and other data from more than 2,500 gaging stations on rivers and streams across California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington to document the severity of the 2015 drought. We are using the data collected to assess how warmer winter temperatures, reduced mountain snowpack, and a shift in precipitation from snow to rain may affect future...

Date published: October 1, 2016
Status: Active

Mason County

The Issue: Groundwater is an important resource for domestic, commercial, and industrial usage in Mason County, and groundwater discharge helps maintain late-summer and early-fall streamflow (baseflow) in many area streams. Consequently, as the population grows, and commercial and industrial activity increase, so does the demand for groundwater. However, the quantity of usable...

Date published: August 18, 2016

Water Management Studies

As the need for incorporating biological objectives into water management decisions has grown, so has the need for methods and metrics to incorporate predictions of relevant biological responses into an increasingly complex decision environment that attempts to balance multiple uses. 

Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

HDgov: Multi-agency Website for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The...

Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS...

Date published: July 21, 2016
Status: Active

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

The ultimate success of North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) depends on maintaining relevance to stakeholders and society. In order to be relevant, a first step is to better understand what people value in regard to waterfowl and their habitats. Without this information, NAWMP population, habitat, and people objectives may not reflect stakeholder and societal values; and management...

Date published: April 12, 2016
Status: Active

Evaluating the reintroduction potential and limiting factors associated with anadromous fish reintroductions in the Upper Lewis River, WA

Hydropower facilities on the Lewis River, WA eliminated historic runs of anadromous species to the headwaters of the Lewis River. As anadromous reintroductions are considered and implemented, there remains considerable uncertainty in the viability of reintroductions in reservoir and tributary systems where large populations of non-native species persist and where spawning and rearing habitat...

Date published: March 17, 2016

Volcano Hazards Assessments Help Mitigate Disasters

The Volcano Hazards Program develops long-range volcano hazards assessments. These includes a summary of the specific hazards, their impact areas, and a map showing ground-hazard zones. The assessments are also critical for planning long-term land-use and effective emergency-response measures, especially when a volcano begins to show signs of unrest.

Filter Total Items: 180
Date published: January 1, 2016

Surface-sediment grain-size distributions from the Elwha River delta, Washington, September 2014

This portion of the data release presents sediment grain-size data from samples collected on the Elwha River delta, Washington, in September 2014 (USGS Field Activity 2014-649-FA). Surface sediment was collected from 63 locations using a small ponar, or 'grab', sampler from the R/V Frontier on September 5, 2014 in depths between about 1 and 17 m around the delta. The locations

Date published: January 1, 2016

Topography data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, January 2015

This part of the data release presents topography data from the Elwha River delta collected in January 2015. Topography data were collected on foot with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers mounted on backpacks.

Date published: January 1, 2016

Topography data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, July 2015

This part of the data release presents topography data from the Elwha River delta collected in July 2015. Topography data were collected on foot with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers mounted on backpacks.

Date published: January 1, 2016

Nearshore bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, July 2015, collected from personal watercraft

This part of the data release presents bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta collected in July 2015 using two personal watercraft (PWCs). The PWCs were equipped with single-beam echosounders and survey-grade global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) receivers.

Date published: December 30, 2015

Bathymetry and backscatter from 2013 interferometric swath bathymetry systems survey of Columbia River Mouth, Oregon and Washington

High-resolution swath bathymetry and backscatter were collected in the mouth of the Columbia River (MCR) as part of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) funded River and Inlet Dynamics Experiment in 2013. The goal of the U.S. Geological Survey’s component of the research was to evaluate the various hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes in the Columbia River estuary entrance using

Date published: January 1, 2015

Bathymetry from 2013 interferometric swath bathymetry systems survey of Columbia River Mouth, Oregon and Washington

This part of the USGS data release presents bathymetry data for the Columbia River Mouth, Oregon and Washington. The bathymetry data of the Columbia River Mouth, Oregon and Washington were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Mapping was completed in 2013, using a 234-kHz SEA SWATHPlus interferometric system. These data are not intended for navigational purposes.

Date published: January 1, 2015

Acoustic backscatter from 2013 interferometric swath bathymetry systems survey of Columbia River Mouth, Oregon and Washington

This part of the USGS data release presents acoustic backscatter data for the Columbia River Mouth, Oregon and Washington. The acoustic backscatter data of the Columbia River Mouth, Oregon and Washington were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Mapping was completed in 2013, using a 234-kHz SEA SWATHPlus interferometric system. These data are not intended for navigational pu

Date published: January 1, 2015

Boat ramp locations within the Columbia River Basin with associated recreational use, water quality measurements, and risk assessment data for zebra and quagga mussels- shapefile

Aquatic invasive species are often transported between water bodies on boats or boat trailers. Thus, contaminated boats and boat trailers are considered one of the primary vectors for introduction of invasive species into a new water body. This data set was compiled in response to a funding grant from the Bonneville Power Administration Technology Innovation group (Cooperative agreement #59...

Date published: January 1, 2015

Boat ramp locations within the Columbia River Basin with associated recreational use, water quality measurements, and risk assessment data for zebra and quagga mussels- tabular data

Aquatic invasive species are often transported between water bodies on boats or boat trailers. Thus, contaminated boats and boat trailers are considered one of the primary vectors for introduction of invasive species into a new water body. This data set was compiled in response to a funding grant from the Bonneville Power Administration Technology Innovation group (Cooperative agreement #59...

Date published: January 1, 2015

Boat ramp locations within the Columbia River Basin with associated recreational use, water quality measurements, and risk assessment data for zebra and quagga mussels- service definition file

Aquatic invasive species are often transported between water bodies on boats or boat trailers. Thus, contaminated boats and boat trailers are considered one of the primary vectors for introduction of invasive species into a new water body. This data set was compiled in response to a funding grant from the Bonneville Power Administration Technology Innovation group (Cooperative agreement #59...

Date published: November 23, 2013

Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL)

The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the USGS to catalog legacy land treatment information on Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. The LTDL can be used by federal managers and scientists for compiling information for data-calls, producing maps, generating reports, and conducting analyses at varying spatial and temporal scales.

Date published: July 24, 2013

Data Entry Module for the Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL)

This software allows agencies, organizations, and individuals to download an empty, stand-alone Land Treatment Digital Library database to individual or networked computers. Data entered in these databases may be submitted to the USGS for possible inclusion in the online Land Treatment Digital Library (https://ltdl.wr.usgs.gov).

Filter Total Items: 733
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Year Published: 2010

Juvenile Salmonid survival, passage, and egress at McNary Dam during tests of temporary spillway weirs, 2009

We evaluated behavior, passage, and survival of juvenile salmonids at McNary Dam in relation to the temporary spillway weirs (TSWs) using acoustic telemetry during 2009. The TSWs were located in spill bays 4 and 20 during spring and in spill bays 19 and 20 during summer. Our objectives were to assess the performance of the TSWs as a fish passage...

Adams, N.S.; Liedtke, T.L.

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Year Published: 2010

Minimizing effects of over-water docks on federally listed fish stocks in McNary Reservoir: A literature review for criteria

McNary Lock and Dam were completed in 1953, creating McNary Reservoir, or Lake Wallula. The shoreline of the reservoir is federally owned and as a result the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has certain land and fish habitat management responsibilities to balance with other multipurpose benefits. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of...

Rondorf, Dennis W.; Rutz, Gary L.; Charrier, Jodi C.

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Year Published: 2010

Quantifying the behavioral response of spawning chum salmon to elevated discharges from Bonneville Dam, Columbia River, USA

Chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta that spawn in main-stem habitats below Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, USA, are periodically subjected to elevated discharges that may alter spawning behaviour. We investigated behavioural responses of spawning chum salmon to increased water velocities associated with experimental increases in tailwater...

Tiffan, K.F.; Haskell, C.A.; Kock, T.J.
Quantifying the behavioral response of spawning chum salmon to elevated discharges from Bonneville Dam, Columbia River, USA; 2010; Article; Journal; River Research and Applications; Tiffan, K. F.; Haskell, C. A.; Kock, T. J.

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Year Published: 2010

Wild Steelhead and introduced spring Chinook Salmon in the Wind River, Washington: Overlapping populations and interactions

We investigated interactions of introduced juvenile spring Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha with wild juvenile steelhead O. mykiss in the upper Wind River watershed (rkm 24.6 to rkm 43.8), Washington. Our objective was to determine if the presence of introduced spring Chinook salmon influenced populations of wild juvenile steelhead and if...

Jezorek, I.G.; Connolly, P.J.

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Year Published: 2010

Wind River water restoration, Annual report November 2008 to October 2009.

This report summarizes work completed by U.S. Geological Survey’s Columbia River Research Laboratory (USGS-CRRL) in the Wind River subbasin during the period November 2008 through October 2009 under Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) contract 41038. Long term research in the Wind River has focused on assessments of steelhead/rainbow trout...

Connolly, P.J.; Jezorek, I.G.; Munz, C.S.

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Year Published: 2009

Snake River fall Chinook salmon life history investigation, annual report 2007

In 2007, we used radio and acoustic telemetry to evaluate the migratory behavior, survival, mortality, and delay of subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the Clearwater River and Lower Granite Reservoir. Monthly releases of radio-tagged fish (~95/month) were made from May through October and releases of 122-149/month acoustic-tagged fish per month...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Connor, William P.; McMichael , Geoffrey A.; Buchanan, Rebecca A.

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Year Published: 2009

Pre-Restoration Habitat Use by Chinook Salmon in the Nisqually Estuary Using Otolith Analysis: An Additional Year

The Nisqually Fall Chinook population is one of 27 stocks in the Puget Sound evolutionarily significant unit listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Preservation and extensive restoration of the Nisqually delta ecosystem is currently taking place to assist in recovery of the stock as juvenile Fall Chinook salmon are...

Lind-Null, Angie; Larsen, Kim
Pre-Restoration Habitat Use by Chinook Salmon in the Nisqually Estuary Using Otolith Analysis: An Additional Year; 2009; OFR; 2009-1106; Lind-Null, Angie; Larsen, Kim

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Year Published: 2009

A spatial model to assess the effects of hydropower operations on Columbia River fall Chinook Salmon spawning habitat

Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River produces large daily and hourly streamflow fluctuations throughout the Hanford Reach during the period when fall Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha are selecting spawning habitat, constructing redds, and actively engaged in spawning. Concern over the detrimental effects of these fluctuations prompted us...

Hatten, James R.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Anglin, Donald R.; Haeseker, Steven L.; Skalicky, Joseph J.; Schaller, Howard

Filter Total Items: 876
Fan hydroids
July 28, 2016

Fan hydroids

Fan hydroids - Scuba divers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center, Washington Sea Grant, EPA and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe collected data and images from a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: Strait of Juan de Fuca, near the

...
Clown nudibranch
July 28, 2016

Clown nudibranch

Clown nudibranch - Scuba divers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center, Washington Sea Grant, EPA and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe collected data and images from a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: Strait of Juan de Fuca, near

...
Cluster of tubeworms
July 28, 2016

Cluster of tubeworms

Cluster of tubeworms - Scuba divers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center, Washington Sea Grant, EPA and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe collected data and images from a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: Strait of Juan de Fuca,

...
July 28, 2016

J1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: J1 East Transect; Depth: 9.3 Meters (30.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 6.7 Kilometers (4.1 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13607725,-123.47935008; Site Description: This site is medium depth. Substrates is mainly a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:20, 0:36 seconds) and brown seaweed growth is dense and appears

July 27, 2016

F1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: F1 East Transect; Depth: 6.3 Meters (20.6 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.3 Kilometers (0.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15292999, -123.55011402; Site Description: Visibility on the day this video was taken was bad and the currents were swift. This is a shallow site. Substrate is all sand. Woody debris was

July 27, 2016

F1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: F1 West Transect; Depth: 6.6 Meters (21.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.3 Kilometers (0.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15292999, -123.55078602; Site Description: Visibility on the day this video was taken was bad and the currents were swift. This is a shallow site. Substrate is all sand. The brown acid kelp

Sanddab
July 25, 2016

Sanddab

Sanddab - Scuba divers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center, Washington Sea Grant, EPA and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe collected data and images from a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: Strait of Juan de Fuca, near the

...
July 25, 2016

L1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: L1 East Transect; Depth: 11.4 Meters (37.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.3 Kilometers (1.4 Miles) west; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13957527,-123.59359993; Site Description: This transect is medium depth. Substrate is mainly fine sediment/sand/mud covered in a layer of brown diatoms (0:39 seconds). Scattered boulders

Buffalo sculpin camouflaged
July 25, 2016

Buffalo sculpin camouflaged

Buffalo sculpin camouflaged - Scuba divers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center, Washington Sea Grant, EPA and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe collected data and images from a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: Strait of Juan de

...
July 25, 2016

D2 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: D2 East Transect; Depth: 11.9 Meters (38.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.3 Kilometers (0.2 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15233001,-123.56829403; Site Description: This site is right off the mouth of the river and is actively being buried in sandy substrate. The sediment for the first 19 meters of the 30 meter

July 18, 2016

Inside USGS, No. 5, Pleistocene Glaciations of Greater Yellowstone

Dr. Kenneth Pierce studied the geology and geomorphology of the greater Yellowstone area for nearly his entire career with the U.S. Geological Survey. From 1965 to present, Dr. Pierce has mapped glacial deposits, pioneered Quaternary dating techniques, conducted research on the Yellowstone Hot Spot, studied the geothermal areas, explored the geology of archaeological sites

Filter Total Items: 378
Mount St. Helens, as viewed from Elk Rock....
April 30, 2014

Slowly emerging patterns of behavior at Mount St. Helens are giving scientists at the USGS-Cascades Volcano Observatory and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network new insights into activity beneath the volcano.

Image: Columbia River Contaminants and Habitat Study
April 29, 2014

A newly published scientific study discovered that some resident fish in the lower Columbia River, namely largescale suckers, contain chemicals that health officials have determined can cause health concerns for people who eat large quantities of the fish.

USGS
April 8, 2014

Northern sea otters living off the coast of Washington state were infected with the same H1N1 flu virus that caused the world-wide pandemic in 2009, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. 

Issue2.3March2014Thumb
April 1, 2014

People Are In Some Ways More Fish-Like Than We Think

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 20, 2014

Why does the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake Matter 50 Years Later? Scientific experts will talk about a half-century of scientific and monitoring advances triggered by the 1964 events.

Issue2.2February2014Thumb
March 3, 2014

WFRC Supports Pacific Lamprey Conservation

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 24, 2014

An increase in the barred owl population is contributing to the decline of threatened Northern spotted owls, according to models developed by U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Forest Service scientists.

Digital Surface Watersheds superimposed along the U.S. and Candian International Boundary on satellite image of North America.
February 19, 2014

Clearer views of waters along the U.S. and Canadian border are now possible with new seamless digital maps. These maps make it easier to solve complex water issues that require a thorough understanding of drainage systems on both sides of the International Boundary.

Map showing the National scenic trails throughout the contiguous United States
February 12, 2014

Newly released US Topo maps  for Washington now feature segments of thePacific Crest and Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trails. 

Image: New River-Mouth Delta
February 11, 2014

As the largest dam-removal project in history moves into its third year, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey released a new report that documents the movement of sediment down the Elwha River in Washington State.

USGS
February 4, 2014

Pedestrian evacuation modeling by USGS geographers Nathan Wood and Jeanne Jones and Sacramento State University is featured in a story about vertical evacuation refuges in southwest Washington for the February 2014 issue of National Geographic magazine.

Western Fisheries Research Center

Western Fisheries Research Center

Research at the WFRC focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations including their interactions in aquatic communities and ecosystems. 

Go to Center

Washington Water Science Center

Washington Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States and the State of Washington.

Go to Center