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: 268
Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Completed

Raging River Temperature

The Issue: Large, in-channel wood that helps to create and maintain healthy aquatic habitat in rivers throughout the Pacific Northwest was removed from many rivers in the past. In 2009, King County put wood back into the river to restore the Raging River watershed. To guide the county's restoration of the Raging River watershed, managers need to know the effect of restoration...

Date published: January 1, 2016
Status: Active

Lake Spokane

The Issue: Phosphorus from many different sources has caused water quality problems for Lake Spokane in eastern Washington by promoting the growth of algae and aquatic plants. Phosphorus comes from municipal and industrial point-sources upstream of Lake Spokane, as well as non-point sources like septic tanks, agricultural fields, and wildlife. Lake Spokane was listed by the...

Date published: May 1, 2015
Status: Completed

Seismology in the City

Release Date: May 1, 2015

How seismologists can use noise to see under the ground.

Contacts: William J Stephenson, Lisa A Wald, Steve Hartzell, Morgan Moschetti, Jack Odum, Robert Williams, David Worley
Date published: January 1, 2015
Status: Completed

South Fork Nooksack River Basin Groundwater and Surface-water Interactions and Processes

High water temperatures and low instream flows during the summer have been identified as some of the key limitations for the viability of South Fork Nooksack River salmon populations including summer and spring-run Chinook salmon. Restoration strategies including the placement of engineered log jams, the restoration of floodplains and wetlands, and instream flow negotiation have been developed...

Date published: January 1, 2015
Status: Completed

White River Bioenergetics

The White River Basin is located in western Washington and drains an area of about 500 square miles. Rivers in the White River Basin are fed by melt water from glaciers on Mt. Rainier, runoff from snowmelt and rain, and groundwater discharge. Beginning in the early to mid-twentieth century, the White River from river mile (RM) 9 to its confluence with the Puyallup River was extensively...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: January 5, 2014
Status: Completed

Upper Kittitas County

The Issue: Baseflows in the tributary streams in the western portion of Kittitas County are important in the late summer and fall when demands on these streams peak. An ongoing USGS Yakima River basin study indicates that groundwater and surface water are interconnected, however the hydrogeologic framework and the potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals on tributary streamflow in the...

Date published: January 2, 2014
Status: Completed

Recharge and frozen ground in the PNW

The Issue: Seasonally frozen ground occurs over approximately one-third of the contiguous United States, and the extent and duration of frozen ground have been decreasing as a result of global warming. In semi-arid regions such as the Columbia Plateau and Snake River Plain in the Pacific Northwest, nearly all natural recharge occurs between October and March when intermittent...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 1, 2014
Status: Completed

Vancouver Lake Nutrient Budget

The Issue: Vancouver Lake in Clark County, WA has been experiencing water quality problems for decades. Recently, harmful algal blooms have been taking place in summer resulting in closures of the lake to swimming/water contact. One potential cause of these algal blooms in the increased loading of nutrients to the lake; however, there is currently little known about the amount and timing of...

Contacts: Rich Sheibley
Date published: January 1, 2014
Status: Completed

Nooksack River Streamflow and Network Analysis

The Lummi Nation is partner to six USGS streamflow-gaging stations in the Nooksack River basin that measure streamflow in small streams. The Lummi Nation uses data from these stations to help manage its natural resources and has requested that the USGS analyze the available data record. As a result, the USGS is using streamflow data collected in and near the Nooksack River basin to develop...

Date published: January 10, 2013
Status: Completed

NAS Whidbey Transport Model

The Issue: The carcinogenic compound 1,4-dioxane was recently (2003) found in groundwater in the vicinity of the former landfill at Area 6, Operable Unit 1, Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Island County, Washington. The current extent and potential for further migration of 1,4-dioxane in the vicinity of Area 6 are not well known. Also at area 6, the Navy is exploring...

Date published: January 5, 2013
Status: Active

Sources of Mercury in Sinclair Inlet Project

The sediments in Sinclair Inlet within Puget Sound, Washington have elevated concentrations of a number of organic compounds and elements including mercury. Following remediation actions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), it was determined that there is insufficient information to determine whether remedial action taken at OU B Marine with...

Contacts: Kathy Conn
Date published: January 3, 2013
Status: Completed

Cedar River Peak Flow Management

The Cedar River watershed provides two-thirds of the water supply for the greater Seattle metropolitan region, in addition to being home to numerous federally listed salmon species. The City of Seattle, through Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), works closely with the Cedar River Instream Flow Commission (IFC) to adaptively manage flows on the Cedar River. Seattle operates its water management...

Filter Total Items: 184
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: 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: 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: 747
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Year Published: 2010

Growth, condition factor, and bioenergetics modeling link warmer stream temperatures below a small dam to reduced performance of juvenile steelhead

We investigated the growth and feeding performance of juvenile steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss using field measures and bioenergetics modeling. Juvenile steelhead populations were sampled from mid-June through August 2004 at study sites upstream and downstream of Hemlock Dam. The growth and diet of juvenile steelhead were determined for a warm (...

Sauter, S.T.; Connolly, P.J.
Growth, condition factor, and bioenergetics modeling link warmer stream temperatures below a small dam to reduced performance of juvenile steelhead; 2010; Article; Journal; Northwest Science; Sauter, S. T.; Connolly, P. J.

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Year Published: 2010

Guidelines for conducting Smolt survival studies in the Columbia River

For more than a decade, investigators from different research groups in the Pacific Northwest have been using electronic tags to estimate survival of salmonid smolts as they migrate seaward past hydroelectric dams and through impoundments on the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Over the years, they have refined both analytical and field methods...

Giorgi; Skalski; Pevin; Langeslay; Smith; Counihan, Timothy D.; Perry, Russell W.; Bickford, Shane

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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

Filter Total Items: 871
Woman and girls next to a lake, seiving sediment
August 2, 2016

USGS scientist and girls next to a lake, seiving sediment

 Led by USGS scientist Cynthia Gardner, GeoGirls collect and sort sediments from the shore of Coldwater Lake, near Mount St. Helens, examining evidence of the May 18, 1980 landslide that dammed Coldwater Creek to create the lake.

August 1, 2016

C1 East Transect – 2013

Permanent Site: C1 East Transect; Depth: Meters (Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 2 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57294101; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. All seaweeds are absent. Invertebrates are scarce and are almost exclusively the ornate tubeworm Diopatra ornata (appears as small

July 29, 2016

K1 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: K1 East Transect; Depth: 6.2 Meters (20.5 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13592923,-123.5101581; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Sediment is a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:38) and brown seaweed was abundant but this year browns were way more

July 29, 2016

K1 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: K1 West Transect; Depth: 5.6 Meters (18.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13592923,-123.51082988; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Sediment is a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:59) and brown seaweed was abundant but this year browns were more abundant

Candy striped shrimp with sand rose anemone
July 29, 2016

Candy striped shrimp with sand rose anemone

Candy striped shrimp with sand rose anemone - 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 for a long-term study of the Elwha River dam removals and the resulting effects on the nearshore ecosystem.

Location: 

...
July 29, 2016

A2 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: A2 East Transect; Depth: 12.6 Meters (41.5 Feet); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.58766124; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Seaweeds have returned but are sparse with the main species being the

July 28, 2016

F2 West Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: F2 West Transect; Depth: 11.3 Meters (37.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.55036603; Site Description: Substrate is mainly a gravel - cobble mixture with an occasional boulder. Seaweed is abundant but is not as abundant as pre-dam removal levels,

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 28, 2016

F2 East Transect – 2016

Permanent Site: F2 East Transect; Depth: 11.3 Meters (37.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 5 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.54969397; Site Description: Substrate is mainly a gravel - cobble mixture with an occasional boulder. Seaweed is abundant but is not as abundant as pre-dam removal levels,

Filter Total Items: 384
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.

Image: Salmon Conservation Efforts Honored
January 16, 2014

Today the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP) was recognized for its conservation achievements focused on federally listed salmon species. The partnership was selected for a "Partnership in Conservation" award because it improves the scientific foundation for natural and cultural resource management and advances government-to-government relationship with Indian nations.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 15, 2014

Twenty years ago this week an earthquake struck Northridge, Calif., killing 57 people and revealing a serious defect in a common type of mid-rise building. A new study by U.S. Geological Survey and Caltech engineers, shows that these mid-rise buildings with fracture-prone welds in their steel frames are much more dangerous than they would be if they met current standards.

Image: Low-Flying Airplane Maps New Madrid Zone
January 3, 2014

Preliminary interpretations of a recent geophysical survey confirm the presence of earthquake faults and reveal the possibility of previously unknown faults beneath the greater Spokane area.

USGS
December 31, 2013

Preliminary interpretations of a recent geophysical survey confirm the presence of earthquake faults as well as reveal the possibility of previously unknown faults beneath the greater Spokane area. 

USGS
December 19, 2013

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center is awarding nearly $1.3 million to universities and other partners for research to assist Native Americans and federal and state land managers plan for and adapt to climate change.

Acoustic Flow Monitor Records Small Debris Surges on the South Fork...
December 16, 2013

On September 28, after about 10 hours of steady rain, an acoustic flow monitor (AFM) on the South Fork Toutle River recorded the passage of small debris flows.

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