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: 262
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: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Nanophyetus salmincola - MMFS

Fish Parasite

Nanophyetus salmincola

Date published: September 27, 2018
Status: Completed

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

The ecological and economic costs of an invasive quagga or zebra mussel infestation in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. would be significant. The development of invasive mussel monitoring programs in the Pacific Northwest provides a unique opportunity to evaluate a regional invasive species detection effort early in its development. Although efforts are underway to monitor for the presence of...

Contacts: Timothy Counihan, Stephen M. Bollens
Date published: September 12, 2018
Status: Active

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-...

Contacts: Ian Jezorek
Date published: September 11, 2018
Status: Active

Questions and Answers About Salmon

A list of questions asked by students and answers provided by a USGS-WFRC Scientist.

Date published: September 4, 2018
Status: Active

Detection Protocols - Renibacterium salmoninarum

Protocols for the Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum in salmon

Date published: August 30, 2018
Status: Active

Columbia River Basin Sturgeon Habitat Modeling

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).

Contacts: James Hatten
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 29, 2018
Status: Active

WFRC Organizational Chart

Organizational structure of the Western Fisheries Research Center

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...

Filter Total Items: 184
Date published: January 1, 2018

High-resolution bathymetry data collected in 2004 in Skagit Bay, Washington

These metadata describe the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) 2004 bathymetry data collected in Skagit Bay Washington that is provided as a 1-m resolution TIFF image, as well as a 1-m resolution shaded-relief TIFF image. In 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010 the USGS, PCMSC collected bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data in Skagit Bay%

Date published: January 1, 2018

Physical CPGs -- Probability of Streamflow Permanence (PROSPER) Continuous Parameter Grids (CPGs)

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER) model, a GIS raster-based empirical model that provides streamflow permanence probabilities (probabilistic predictions) of a stream channel having year-round flow for any unregulated and minimally-impaired stream channel in the Pacific Northwest region, U.S. The model provides annual

Date published: January 1, 2018

High-resolution bathymetry data collected in 2005 in Skagit Bay, Washington

These metadata describe the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) 2005 bathymetry data collected in Skagit Bay Washington that is provided as a 1-m resolution TIFF image, as well as a 1-m resolution shaded-relief TIFF image. In 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Date published: January 1, 2018

High-resolution bathymetry data collected in 2010 in Skagit Bay, Washington

These metadata describe the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) 2010 bathymetry data collected in Skagit Bay Washington that is provided as a 1-m resolution TIFF image, as well as a 1-m resolution shaded-relief TIFF image. In 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Date published: January 1, 2018

Daily sediment loads during and after dam removal in the Elwha River, Washington, 2011 to 2016

Daily values of discharge and sediment loads were measured and estimated at U.S. Geological Survey gaging station 12046260, on the Elwha River at the diversion near Port Angeles, Washington. Daily data are reported from September 15, 2011 to September 30, 2016. Specific data include (1) date; (2) discharge; (3) suspended-sediment concentration and one standard-deviation bo

Date published: January 1, 2018

High-resolution bathymetry data collected in 2007 in Skagit Bay, Washington

These metadata describe the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) 2007 bathymetry data collected in Skagit Bay Washington that is provided as a 1-m resolution TIFF image, as well as a 1-m resolution shaded-relief TIFF image. In 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Date published: January 1, 2018

Probability of Streamflow Permanence (PROSPER) Model Output Layers

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER) model, a GIS raster-based empirical model that provides streamflow permanence probabilities (probabilistic predictions) of a stream channel having year-round flow for any unregulated and minimally-impaired stream channel in the Pacific Northwest region, U.S. The model provides annual predictions...

Date published: January 1, 2018

Merged 2005, 2007, and 2010 high-resolution bathymetry data collected in Skagit Bay, Washington

These metadata describe the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) merged bathymetry digital terrain model comprised of the 2005, 2007, and 2010 bathymetry data collected in Skagit Bay Washington that is provided as a 1-m resolution TIFF image, as well as a 1-m resolution shaded-relief TIFF image. In 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010 the U.

Date published: January 1, 2018

Distribution and seasonal differences in Pacific Lamprey and Lampetra spp eDNA across 18 Puget Sound watersheds, 2014 and 2015

These data contain all the raw results needed to support the conclusions for the final product. These data are water sampling locations (latitude and longitude), date of water sampling, quantitative PCR values for each water sample, and stream flow at USGS stream gauging stations on sampling day.

Date published: January 1, 2018

Concentrations of environmental DNA (eDNA) during sockeye salmon spawning in 2016, Hansen Creek, Alaska, USA

This dataset contains environmental DNA (eDNA) concentrations and spawning adult abundances for sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in Hansen Creek, a small tributary in the Wood River watershed, southeast Alaska, USA. We took temporally- and spatially-replicated eDNA samples during the spawning period (mid-July through August), along with fish counts (live, naturally dead

Date published: January 1, 2018

Merged acoustic-backscactter imagery collected in 2005, 2007, and 2010, Skagit Bay, Washington

These metadata describe the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) merged acoustic-backscatter imagery that was collected in 2005, 2007, and 2010 in Skagit Bay Washington that is provided as a 5-m resolution TIFF image. In 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (P

Date published: January 1, 2018

Inorganic compositional data for fine-grained Puget Sound sediment along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line, September 2015

Nearshore surface sediment was collected with a petit ponar grab sampler between April 22 and September 17, 2015, at five sites in Puget Sound, Washington. Four sites were adjacent to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line in urban and non-urban areas, and one site was in an urban area that was not adjacent to the rail line. Total and near-total major, minor, trace, and rare ear

Filter Total Items: 783
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Year Published: 2018

Size, growth, and size‐selective mortality of subyearling Chinook Salmon during early marine residence in Puget Sound

In marine ecosystems, survival can be heavily influenced by size‐selective mortality during juvenile life stages. Understanding how and when size‐selective mortality operates on a population can reveal underlying growth dynamics and size‐selective ecological processes affecting the population and thus can be used to guide conservation efforts. For...

Gamble, Madilyn M.; Connelly, Kristin A.; Gardner, Jennifer R.; Chamberlin, Joshua W.; Warheit, Kenneth I.; Beauchamp, David A.
Gamble, M.M., K.A. Connelly, J.R. Gardner, J.W. Chamberlin, K.I. Warheit, and D.A. Beauchamp. 2018. Size, growth, and size-selective mortality of subyearling Chinook salmon during early marine residence in Puget Sound. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 147(2): 370-389.

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Year Published: 2018

Refining aging criteria for northern sea otters in Washington State

Measurement of skull ossification patterns is a standard method for aging various mammalian species and has been used to age Russian, Californian, and Alaskan sea otter populations. Cementum annuli counts have also been verified as an accurate aging method for the Alaskan sea otter population. In this study, cementum annuli count results and skull...

Schuler, Krysten L.; Baker, Bridget B.; Mayer, Karl A.; Perez-Heydrich, Carolina; Holahan, Paula M.; Thomas, Nancy J.; White, C. LeAnn

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Year Published: 2018

Smallmouth bass predation on subyearling fall Chinook salmon in Lower Granite Reservoir, 2016–2017

Predation by nonnative fishes is one factor that has been implicated in the decline of juvenile salmonids in the Pacific Northwest. Impoundment of much of the Snake and Columbia Rivers has altered food webs and created habitat favorable for species such as smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu. Smallmouth bass are common throughout the Columbia...

Erhardt, John M.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Hemingway, Rulon J.; Bickford, Brad K.; Rhodes, Tobyn N.

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Year Published: 2018

Stress rotation across the Cascadia megathrust requires a weak subduction plate boundary at seismogenic depths

The Mendocino Triple Junction region is the most seismically active part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The northward moving Pacific plate collides with the subducting Gorda plate causing intense internal deformation within it. Here we show that the stress field rotates rapidly with depth across the thrust interface from a strike-slip regime...

Li, Duo; McGuire, Jeffrey J.; Liu, Yajing; Hardebeck, Jeanne L.
Li, D., McGuire, J. J., Liu, Y., & Hardebeck, J. L. (2018). Stress rotation across the Cascadia megathrust requires a weak subduction plate boundary at seismogenic depths. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 485, 55-64.

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Year Published: 2018

Mortality trends in northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) collected from the coasts of Washington and Oregon (2002–15)

During 2002−15 we examined the causes of mortality in a population of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni). Beachcast sea otters were collected primarily from the coast of Washington. Although there are no permanent sea otter residents in Oregon, several beachcast otters were collected from the Oregon coast. Infectious diseases were the...

White, C. LeAnn; Lankau, Emily W. ; Lynch, Deanna; Knowles, Susan; Schuler, Krysten L.; Dubey, Jitender P.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Isidoro Ayza, Marcos; Thomas, Nancy J.

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Year Published: 2018

Molecular testing of adult Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.) for several RNA viruses demonstrates widespread distribution of piscine orthoreovirus in Alaska and Washington

This research was initiated in conjunction with a systematic, multiagency surveillance effort in the United States (U.S.) in response to reported findings of infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) RNA in British Columbia, Canada. In the systematic surveillance study reported in a companion paper, tissues from various salmonids taken from...

Purcell, Maureen K.; Thompson, Rachel L.; Evered, Joy; Kerwin, John; Meyers, Ted R.; Stewart, Bruce; Winton, James
Purcell, M.K., R.L. Powers, J. Evered, J. Kerwin, T.R. Meyers, B. Stewart, and J.R. Winton. 2017. Molecular testing of adult Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.) for several RNA viruses demonstrates widespread distribution of piscine orthoreovirus in Alaska and Washington. J. Fish Dis. 41(2): 347-355. DOI: 10.1111/jfd.12740.

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Year Published: 2018

Wind River Subbasin Restoration, Annual report of U.S. Geological Survey activities, January 2016 through December 2016

We used Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT)-tagging and a series of instream PIT-tag interrogation systems (PTISs) to investigate life-histories, populations, and efficacy of habitat restoration actions for steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss in the Wind River subbasin, WA. Our tagging focused on parr in headwaters areas of the subbasin and our...

Jezorek, Ian G.; Connolly, Patrick J.

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Year Published: 2017

P- and S-wave velocity models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone for 3D earthquake ground motion simulations, Version 1.6—Update for Open-File Report 2007–1348

In support of earthquake hazard studies and ground motion simulations in the Pacific Northwest, three-dimensional P- and S-wave velocity (VP and VS, respectively) models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone were previously developed for the region encompassed from about 40.2°N. to 50°N. latitude, and from about 122°W. to 129°W. longitude....

Stephenson, William J.; Reitman, Nadine G.; Angster, Stephen J.
Stephenson, W.J., Reitman, N.G., and Angster, S.J., 2017, P- and S-wave velocity models incorporating the Cascadia subduction zone for 3D earthquake ground motion simulations, version 1.6—Update for Open-File Report 2007–1348 (ver. 1.1, Sept. 10, 2019): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1152, 17 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171152. [Supersedes USGS Open-File Report 2007–1348.]

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Year Published: 2017

Ecology of the Sand Roller (Percopsis transmontana) in a lower Snake River Reservoir, Washington

The Sand Roller (Percopsis transmontana), has not been abundant in the Snake River since it was first found in the system in the 1950s, but its population has apparently increased in recent years. As a result, we initiated a study to better understand its ecology in habitats of Lower Granite Reservoir. From November 2014 to October 2015, Sand...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Erhardt, John M.; Rhodes, Tobyn N.; Hemingway, Rulon J.
Tiffan, K.F., J.M. Erhardt, T.N. Rhodes, and R.J. Hemingway. 2017. Ecology of the Sand Roller (Percopsis transmontana) in a lower Snake River reservoir, Washington. Northwestern Naturalist 98(3): 203-214. DOI: 10.1898/NWN16-25.1.

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Year Published: 2017

Miocene−Pleistocene deformation of the Saddle Mountains: Implications for seismic hazard in central Washington, USA

The Yakima fold province, located in the backarc of the Cascadia subduction zone, is a region of active strain accumulation and deformation distributed across a series of fault-cored folds. The geodetic network in central Washington has been used to interpret large-scale N-S shortening and westward-increasing strain; however, geodetic data are...

Staisch, Lydia M.; Kelsey, Harvey; Sherrod, Brian; Möller, Andreas; Paces, James B.; Blakely, Richard J.; Styron, Richard
Lydia Staisch, Harvey Kelsey, Brian Sherrod, Andreas Möller, James Paces, Richard Blakely, Richard Styron; Miocene−Pleistocene deformation of the Saddle Mountains: Implications for seismic hazard in central Washington, USA. GSA Bulletin doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B31783.1

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Year Published: 2017

Acoustic tag detections of green sturgeon in the Columbia River and Coos Bay estuaries, Washington and Oregon, 2010–11

The Columbia River, in Washington and Oregon, and Coos Bay, in Oregon, are economically important shipping channels that are inhabited by several fishes protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Maintenance of shipping channels involves dredge operations to maintain sufficient in-channel depths to allow large ships to navigate the...

Hansel, Hal C.; Romine, Jason G.; Perry, Russell W.
Hansel, H.C., Romine, J.G., and Perry, R.W., 2017, Acoustic tag detections of green sturgeon in the Columbia River and Coos Bay estuaries, Washington and Oregon, 2010–11: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017-1144, 30 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171144.

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Year Published: 2017

Seismic evidence for a possible deep crustal hot zone beneath Southwest Washington

Crustal pathways connecting deep sources of melt and the active volcanoes they supply are poorly understood. Beneath Mounts St. Helens, Adams, and Rainier these pathways connect subduction-induced ascending melts to shallow magma reservoirs. Petrogenetic modeling predicts that when these melts are emplaced as a succession of sills into the lower...

Flinders, Ashton; Shen, Yang
Flinders, A. F., and Shen, Y (2017) Seismic evidence for a possible deep crustal hot zone beneath Southwest Washington, Scientific Reports, 7

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View from high up on a coastal bluff looking at a beach at low tide with some exposed boulders, two people standing on shore.
June 4, 2018

Whidbey Island snapshot west

A pair of video cameras overlook the coast along a beach on Whidbey Island, Island County at the northern boundary of Puget Sound in western Washington. View looks west out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

View looks down at a rocky beach at low tide, from up high on cliff.
June 4, 2018

Whidbey Island video camera timex image

Timex (time-exposure) image: a time-averaged image of all frames, smoothing away surface waves and determining the location of persistent wave-breaking (indicative of shallow sandbars).

View looking down at a rocky beach at low tide, from up high on a cliff.
June 4, 2018

Whidbey Island video camera variance image

Variance image: the standard deviation of pixel intensity throughout the video, and it is useful for determining how much variation or movement is occurring at a given location.

View of a beach from up high on a cliff, with some boulders and rocky areas visible during low tide.
June 4, 2018

Whidbey Island video camera dark image

Dark image: the darkest pixel values throughout the video, useful for tracking sediment plumes, tracking floating debris, and filtering out breaking waves.

View of a beach from up high on a cliff, with some boulders and rocky areas visible during low tide.
June 4, 2018

Whidbey Island video camera bright image

Bright image: the brightest pixel values throughout the video, useful for identifying the position of maximum wave run-up on the beach, position of all breaking waves, and sea-state.

Bald eagle sits atop a leafless tree, overlooking a marshy inlet with farmland in the distance.
May 20, 2018

Bald Eagle in Washington

I spy with my little (eagle-) eye . . .

After a successful beach survey and installation of remote-sensing cameras on a nearby island, scientists Shawn Harrison and Andrew Stevens spotted this bald eagle near the mouth of the Skagit River, Washington.

WFRC nPCR test for detection of Rs
May 15, 2018

WFRC nPCR test for detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum

Nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) for the detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum. Agarose gel electrophoresis is used for size separation and visualization of amplified DNA sequences.

WFRC nPCR test for detection of Rs
May 15, 2018

WFRC nPCR test for detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum

Nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) for the detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum. Following two rounds of PCR amplification, samples are pipetted into an agarose gel for electrophoresis.

Comparison maps indicating short or long times available for earthquake shaking arrival times
March 31, 2018

Earthquake Alerts: Early and Often? Or Possibly Late?

The choice when issuing earthquake warnings is to: 1) issue alerts for weak shaking and potentially provide long warning times, but risk sending alerts for the many events that do not go on to produce damaging ground shaking, or 2) issue alerts only when ground shaking is expected to be damaging, with the tradeoff that the alert will be sent much later, reducing the

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Filter Total Items: 385
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May 2, 2018

Science Collaboration Brings Dr. Maya Groner to WFRC

poster/flier advertizing open house at USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, May 12, 2018
May 1, 2018

MEDIA ADVISORY

Have you ever wondered what scientists do at a volcano observatory when a volcano is not erupting? There is plenty to accomplish—probably more than you can imagine.

Large snow-covered, cone shaped mountain in background, looming over urban area in foreground
April 30, 2018

May is Volcano Preparedness Month in Washington, providing residents an opportunity to become more familiar with volcanic risk in their communities and learn about steps they can take to reduce potential impacts.

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March 20, 2018

Researching Pacific Herring in Alaska’s Prince William Sound

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February 1, 2018

USGS Expertise and Science Leads to Ballast Water Management Solutions

Methow River
January 29, 2018

In planning restoration actions in rivers and streams, managers have typically used physical-based models.

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December 13, 2017

USGS and Chinese Fish Health Specialists Meet in the People's Republic of China to Discuss Fish Health

A muddy river in the background flows into a clear river in the foreground.
November 1, 2017

TACOMA, Wash. — The U.S. Geological Survey recently published the results of a new five-year suspended-sediment and water temperature study from the Sauk River. The purpose of this study is to improve understanding of the magnitude and timing of suspended sediment from the Sauk River and its tributaries to the Skagit River.

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October 25, 2017

Conducting Risk Assessments for the Reintroduction of Salmon in the Upper Columbia River

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September 18, 2017

Science to Support Salmon Recovery Efforts in the Puget Sound

A wildfire in a forest
September 7, 2017

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Filter Total Items: 175

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