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: 265
Date published: February 20, 2018
Status: Active

Central Columbia Plateau - Yakima River Basin

The Central Columbia Plateau/Yakima River Basin (CCYK) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) study unit is located in Central Washington, USA. The study unit is dominated by intensive agricultural practices, with irrigated agriculture a common practice for crop production (see study area description). Due to the intensive...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: February 16, 2018
Status: Active

Hanford

Located on 586 square miles in southeastern Washington, the U.S. Department of Energy's (USDOE) Hanford Site was established during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. As a result of plutonium processing and operation of nine nuclear reactors, large volumes of liquid wastes have been generated and discharged to the ground.

The USDOE...

Date published: February 14, 2018
Status: Active

Puget Sound Basin NAWQA

The Puget Sound Basin (PUGT) study unit of the National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program encompasses a 13,700-square-mile area that drains to Puget Sound and adjacent marine waters. Included in this region are all or part of 13 counties in western Washington, as well as the headwaters of the Skagit River and part of the Nooksack River in British Columbia, Canada. The Puget Sound Basin...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: February 1, 2018
Status: Active

Probability of Streamflow Permanence (PROSPER)

PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER)

Rivers and streams are constantly changing. Streamflows can change throughout the year and between years due to snowmelt, precipitation, diversions, and return flows. For many streams, these fluctuations determine whether a stream has year-round flow or not. PROSPER is a project initiated to better understand what causes these fluctuations...

Date published: January 29, 2018
Status: Completed

Characterization and Numerical Simulation of the Puyallup River Watershed

Groundwater is an important resource for domestic, commercial, and industrial usage in the Puyallup River Watershed, 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 groundwater...

Date published: January 26, 2018
Status: Active

Quincy Groundwater

The Issue: Since 1952, water diverted from the Columbia River for irrigation in parts of the Quincy Subarea in eastern Washington has resulted in rising groundwater levels and increased groundwater flows and storage. Managers of groundwater in the area need a better understanding of the flow system before and after the start of irrigation.

How the USGS will help...

Contacts: Sue Kahle
Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise

The original national coastal vulnerability index (CVI) assessment was motivated by expected accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) and the uncertainty in the response of the coastline to SLR. This research was conducted between 1999 and 2001, and is currently being updated using new data sources and methodology. This original study was part of the ...

Date published: January 18, 2018
Status: Active

Long-Term Coastal Change

Goals of this task include developing and improving coastal-change assessments and supporting long-term planning and decision making to ensure sustainable coastal economies, infrastructure, and ecosystems.

Date published: January 1, 2018
Status: Active

Water use

The Issue: Comprehensive water-use data and analysis of water-use information are needed to quantify the stress on existing supplies and to better model and evaluate possible water-supply management options to supplement traditional water-supply approaches. Advances have been made in the ability to control, divert, and develop water, but little attention has been paid to...

Date published: January 1, 2018
Status: Active

PS-CoSMoS FAQs

Puget Sound - Coastal Storm Modeling System (PS-CoSMoS) frequently asked questions

Date published: December 21, 2017
Status: Active

Glaciers and Snowpack

Glaciers, snow, and ice sheets are important components of the Earth's water and climate. They respond to and indicate changes in climate, as well as exerting an influence on global and regional climate. They also have an effect on water resources, serving as natural reservoirs. Measuring changes in the size and volume of glaciers and snowpacks provides one direct way of knowing what kind of...

Date published: December 20, 2017
Status: Active

Navy Investigations and Technical Oversight

The U.S. Navy is conducting environmental work at various sites on Navy installations in Washington, Alaska, and other northwestern states under mandates of the CERCLA and RCRA environmental regulations. This work is generally performed by private firms under contract to the Navy, commonly focusing on small areas near specific waste-disposal or spill sites.

To assist the Navy with the...

Filter Total Items: 181
Date published: January 1, 2017

Topography data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, May 2011

This part of the data release presents topography data from the Elwha River delta collected in May 2011. Topography data were collected on foot with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers mounted on backpacks.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Surface-sediment grain-size distributions from the Elwha River delta, Washington, March 2013

This portion of the data release presents sediment grain-size data from samples collected on the Elwha River delta, Washington, in March 2013 (USGS Field Activity W-01-13-PS). Surface sediment was sampled using a small ponar, or 'grab', sampler on March 4, 2013 from the R/V Frontier at a total of 48 locations in water depths between about 1 and 12 m around the delta. An additi

Date published: January 1, 2017

Vegetation habitat units derived from 2009 aerial imagery and field data for the Elwha River estuary, Washington

Estuary vegetation cover delineated from 11 September 2009 1-meter-resolution NAIP aerial imagery at a scale of 1:1500.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Detection of Nanophyetus salmincola in water, snails and fish tissues by quantitative PCR

The data are used to support the development and validation of two quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays to detect the parasite Nanophyetus salmincola DNA in water samples and fish and snail tissues. The data link to a series of experiments that are described in the publications. Experiment 1 defines the linearity and detection limits of the assays. Experiment 2 assesses the...

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water quality in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, from 2006 to 2014.

This portion of the data release presents water column dissolved nutrient concentration data and water quality parameters from samples collected in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, in 2006, 2007, 2013, and 2014 (USGS Field Activities L-15-13-PS, L-24-13-PS, T-R5-13-PS, T-R6-13-PS, T-RA-14-PS, 2014-614-FA, 2014-628-FA, 2014-633-FA, 2014-666-FA). Water column sampl

Date published: January 1, 2017

Digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Elwha River delta, Washington, March 2013

This part of the data release presents a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from bathymetry and topography data of the Elwha River delta collected in March 2013. Two dams on the Elwha River, Washington State, USA trapped over 20 million m3 of sediment, reducing downstream sediment fluxes and contributing to erosion of the river's coastal delta. The removal of the Elwha and Glines C

Date published: January 1, 2017

Topography data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, May 2012

This part of the data release presents topography data from the Elwha River delta collected in May 2012. Topography data were collected on foot with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers mounted on backpacks.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Nearshore bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, August 2011, collected from personal watercraft

This part of the data release presents bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta collected in August 2011 using two personal watercraft (PWCs). The PWCs were equipped with single-beam echosounders and survey-grade global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Riparian vegetation species richness in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, in 2007 and 2014

This portion of the data release presents riparian plant species richness (number of unique taxa) data from plots sampled in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, in 2007 and 2014. In August 2007, we established 21 vegetation plots within the study area in a stratified random fashion, with three to five plots in five of the vegetation cover types denoted in the habitat classification m

Date published: January 1, 2017

Nearshore bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, May 2011, collected from personal watercraft

This part of the data release presents bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta collected in May 2011 using two personal watercraft (PWCs). The PWCs were equipped with single-beam echosounders and survey-grade global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers.

Date published: August 4, 2016

Prospect- and Mine-Related Features from U.S. Geological Survey 7.5- and 15-Minute Topographic Quadrangle Maps of the Western United States

These data are part of a larger USGS project to develop an updated geospatial database of mines, mineral deposits and mineral regions in the United States. Mine and prospect-related symbols, such as those used to represent prospect pits, mines, adits, dumps, tailings, etc., hereafter referred to as “mine” symbols or features, are currently being digitized on a st

Date published: April 20, 2016

Structures Data

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations....

Filter Total Items: 747
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Year Published: 2012

Potential climate-induced runoff changes and associated uncertainty in four Pacific Northwest estuaries

As part of a larger investigation into potential effects of climate change on estuarine habitats in the Pacific Northwest, we estimated changes in freshwater inputs into four estuaries: Coquille River estuary, South Slough of Coos Bay, and Yaquina Bay in Oregon, and Willapa Bay in Washington. We used the U.S. Geological Survey's Precipitation...

Steele, Madeline O.; Chang, Heejun; Reusser, Deborah A.; Brown, Cheryl A.; Jung, Il-Won
Potential climate-induced runoff changes and associated uncertainty in four Pacific Northwest estuaries; 2012; OFR; 2012-1274; Steele, Madeline O.; Chang, Heejun; Reusser, Deborah A.; Brown, Cheryl A.; Jung, Il-Won

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Year Published: 2012

Fish population and habitat analysis in Buck Creek, Washington, prior to recolonization by anadromous salmonids after the removal of Condit Dam

We assessed the physical and biotic conditions in the part of Buck Creek, Washington, potentially accessible to anadromous fishes. This creek is a major tributary to the White Salmon River upstream of Condit Dam, which was breached in October 2011. Habitat and fish populations were characterized in four stream reaches. Reach breaks were based on...

Allen, M. Brady; Burkhardt, Jeanette; Munz, Carrie; Connolly, Patrick J.
Fish population and habitat analysis in Buck Creek, Washington, prior to recolonization by anadromous salmonids after the removal of Condit Dam; 2012; OFR; 2012-1270; Allen, M. Brady; Burkhardt, Jeanette; Munz, Carrie; Connolly, Patrick J.

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Year Published: 2012

Evaluation of stream flow effects on smolt survival in the Yakima River basin, Washington

Study Summary The influence of stream flow on salmon smolt emigration survival is a topic of widespread management interest. We collected smolt survival data to inform flow management decisions in the Yakima Basin. The Yakima River watershed drains the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain Range in central Washington State. The upper basin is...

Courter; Garrison; Kock, Tobias J.; Perry, Russell W.

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Year Published: 2012

River turbidity and sediment loads during dam removal

Dam decommissioning has become an important means for removing unsafe or obsolete dams and for restoring natural fluvial processes, including discharge regimes, sediment transport, and ecosystem connectivity [Doyle et al., 2003]. The largest dam-removal project in history began in September 2011 on the Elwha River of Washington State (Figure 1a)....

Warrick, Jonathan A.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Curran, Chris A.
River turbidity and sediment loads during dam removal; 2012; Article; Journal; Eos; Warrick, Jonathan A.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Curran, Chris A.

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Year Published: 2012

Assessing fish predation on migrating juvenile steelhead and a retrospective comparison to steelhead survival through the Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project, Columbia River, Washington, 2009-11

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have been working with the Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Washington (Grant PUD), to increase their understanding of predator-prey interactions in the Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project (PRP), Columbia River, Washington. For this study, the...

Hardiman, Jill M.; Counihan, Timothy D.; Burgess, Dave S.; Simmons, Katrina E.; Holmberg, Glen S.; Rogala, Josh; Polacek, Rochelle

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Year Published: 2012

Assessing native and introduced fish predation on migrating juvenile salmon in Priest Rapids and Wanapum Reservoirs, Columbia River, Washington, 2009--11

Hydroelectric development on the mainstem Columbia River has created a series of impoundments that promote the production of native and non-native piscivores. Reducing the effects of fish predation on migrating juvenile salmonids has been a major component of mitigating the effects of hydroelectric development in the Columbia River basin....

Counihan, Timothy D.; Hardiman, Jill M.; Burgess, Dave S.; Simmons, Katrina E.; Holmberg, Glen S.; Rogala, Josh A.; Polacek, Rochelle R.
Assessing native and introduced fish predation on migrating juvenile salmon in Priest Rapids and Wanapum Reservoirs, Columbia River, Washington, 2009--11; 2012; OFR; 2012-1130; Counihan, Timothy D.; Hardiman, Jill M.; Burgess, Dave S.; Simmons, Katrina E.; Holmberg, Glen S.; Rogala, Josh A.; Polacek, Rochelle R.

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Year Published: 2012

Temporal genetic monitoring of hybridization between native westslope cutthroat trout and introduced rainbow trout in the Stehekin River, Washington

Introgressive hybridization with introduced rainbow trout (RBT) (Oncorhynchus mykiss) has led to the loss of native cutthroat trout species (O. clarkii) throughout their range, creating conservation concerns. Monitoring temporal hybridization trends provides resource managers with a tool for determining population status and information for...

Ostberg, Carl O.; Chase, Dorothy M.

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Year Published: 2012

A multi-year analysis of spillway survival for juvenile salmonids as a function of spill bay operations at McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2004-09

We analyzed 6 years (2004-09) of passage and survival data collected at McNary Dam to examine how spill bay operations affect survival of juvenile salmonids passing through the spillway at McNary Dam. We also examined the relations between spill bay operations and survival through the juvenile fish bypass in an attempt to determine if survival...

Adams, Noah S.; Hansel, Hal C.; Perry, Russell W.; Evans, Scott D.
A multi-year analysis of spillway survival for juvenile salmonids as a function of spill bay operations at McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2004-09; 2012; OFR; 2012-1125; Adams, Noah S.; Hansel, Hal C.; Perry, Russell W.; Evans, Scott D.

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Year Published: 2012

A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09

Passage and survival data for yearling and subyearling Chinook salmon and juvenile steelhead were collected at McNary Dam between 2006 and 2009. These data have provided critical information for resource managers to implement structural and operational changes designed to improve the survival of juvenile salmonids as they migrate past the dam....

Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.
A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09; 2012; OFR; 2012-1119; Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.

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Year Published: 2012

A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids, including sockeye salmon, in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09

Passage and survival data were collected at McNary Dam between 2006 and 2009. These data have provided critical information for resource managers to implement structural and operational changes designed to improve the survival of juvenile salmonids as they migrate past the dam. Much of the valuable information collected at McNary Dam was in the...

Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.
A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids, including sockeye salmon, in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09; 2012; OFR; 2012-1120; Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.

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Year Published: 2012

Monitoring of stream restoration habitat on the main stem of the Methow River, Washington, during the pre-treatment phase (October 2008-May 2012) with a progress report for activities from March 2011 to November 2011

Introduction The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) received a request from the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to provide monitoring and an evaluation of the effectiveness of habitat actions that Reclamation plans to implement in the Upper Columbia River basin, which includes the Methow River. This monitoring and evaluation program is to partially...

Tibbits, Wesley T.; Martens, Kyle D.; Connolly, Patrick J.

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Year Published: 2012

An annotated bibliography for lamprey habitat in the White Salmon River, Washington

The October 2011 decommissioning of Condit Dam on the White Salmon River at river kilometer (rkm) 5.3 removed a significant fish passage barrier from the White Salmon River basin for the first time in nearly a century. This affords an opportunity to regain a potentially important drainage basin for Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus)...

Allen, M. Brady
An annotated bibliography for lamprey habitat in the White Salmon River, Washington; 2012; OFR; 2012-1086; Allen, M. Brady

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Mount St. Helens monitoring station SEP during temporary installati...
April 21, 2017

Mount St. Helens monitoring station SEP during temporary installati...

Mount St. Helens monitoring station SEP during temporary installation of a 20 foot mast to restore data flow after heavy snow buried the site and cut off seismic data transmission.

The fiberglass hut that housed the electronics was crushed under the snow load and will need to be rebuilt summer 2017. The solar panel can be seen sticking out of the hut and is level

...
Mount St. Helens monitoring station SEP buried in about 10-15 ft of...
April 21, 2017

Mount St. Helens monitoring station SEP buried in about 10-15 ft of...

Mount St. Helens monitoring station SEP buried in about 10-15 ft of snow. Station stands approximately 8 ft tall and is located to the right of the person in this photo. April 21, 2018

April 21, 2017

H1 East Transect – April 2017

Permanent Site: H1 East Transect; Depth: 5.5 Meters (18.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.1479177,-123.53472865; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate remains mainly

April 12, 2017

Using a Continuous Flow Centrifuge to Collect Suspended Sediment

Kathy Conn, a U.S. Geological Survey Water Quality Specialist, demonstrates a new USGS field method using a continuous flow centrifuge to collect suspended sediment from large volumes of water in the Duwamish River near Seattle Washington.
 

Aerial image of an oil tanker
April 7, 2017

Aerial image of an oil tanker in Prince William Sound, Alaska

Aerial image of an oil tanker in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

March 24, 2017

H1 East Transect – March 2017

Permanent Site: H1 East Transect; Depth: 5.9 Meters (19.5 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.1479177,-123.53472865; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate remains mainly

Scientist standing in streamgaging platform hanging over a river.
March 23, 2017

Measuring the Colville River at Kettle Falls, WA

USGS Hydrologic Technician Kim Cesal measuring 3170 cfs at 12409000 Colville River at Kettle Falls, WA. This measurement is the highest made at the gaging site. The gage has been in operation since October 1922. The gage was installed to monitor flows from Meyer Falls Dam and Power Generation.

February 22, 2017

H1 East Transect – February 2017

Permanent Site: H1 East Transect; Depth: 5.8 Meters (19.1 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.1479177,-123.53472865; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate remains mainly

Clearing snow from solar panels
January 13, 2017

Clearing Snow from Solar Panels

Clearing snow from solar panels which provide power to an instream Passive Integrated Transponder tag detection system in the Wind River, WA. The system detects tagged juvenile and adult Steelhead for population assessment and migratory data.

Girls points to a location on a map laying on the ground.
December 31, 2016

GeoGirls learn about the eruption of Mount St. Helens

GeoGirls learn about how the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens impacted the ecology of the area.

Group of students and scientists stand in semi circle with mountain in the background.
December 31, 2016

GeoGirls hike onto the Pumice Plain and learn about Mount St. Helens

GeoGirls hike onto the Pumice Plain to learn more about Mount St. Helens’ historical

eruptions.

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USGS
March 23, 2015

Floodplains in the Puget Sound region can be managed to protect people and also increase the health of rivers, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. 

USGS
March 18, 2015

Decreases in freshwater withdrawn for irrigation and thermoelectric power led to a 15 percent overall decrease in freshwater use in Washington between 2005 and 2010, according to a report published today by the U. S. Geological Survey.

Members of 2013 Colombia-US Bi-national Exchange visit Mount Rainie...
February 24, 2015

Could what happened at Nevado del Ruiz in 1985 happen in the Pacific Northwest? And if it did, are we prepared?

Aerial photos of the Elwha River mouth before and during dam removal.
February 17, 2015

SEATTLE — The effects of dam removal are better known as a result of several new studies released this week by government, tribal and university researchers. The scientists worked together to characterize the effects of the largest dam removal project in U.S. history occurring on the Elwha River of Washington State.

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February 2, 2015

Fish Health Research at the U.S. Geological Survey - Marrowstone Marine Field Station

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February 2, 2015

Dam Removal and Salmon Response in the White Salmon River, WA

Image: Oso, Washington Landslide
January 12, 2015

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The large landslide that occurred on March 22, 2014 near Oso, Washington was unusually mobile and destructive.

Image: Steve Hickman Earthquake Science Center Director
January 12, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Stephen Hickman to serve as the new director of the USGS Earthquake Science Center, headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
January 5, 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and Washington State University have discovered that endangered Chinook salmon can be detected accurately from DNA they release into the environment. The results are part of a special issue of the journal Biological Conservation on use of environmental DNA to inform conservation and management of aquatic species.

Filter Total Items: 160

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