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: 264
Date published: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed

Chamokane Framework and Model

Chamokane Creek Basin is a 179-square-mile area that borders and partially overlaps the Spokane Indian Reservation in southern Stevens County in northeastern Washington State. In 1979, all water rights in the Chamokane Creek Basin were adjudicated by a Federal court, which gave senior, reserved water rights to the Spokane Tribe of Indians for irrigation and protection of fish in Chamokane...

Contacts: Sue Kahle
Date published: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed

Stormwater Microarray Study

Evaluation of Juvenile Trout Microarray Tools in the Development of an Ambient Monitoring Approach for Urban Streams

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: January 10, 2011
Status: Completed

NWIFC Water Assessment

Water resources are essential to Native American Tribes in western Washington for instream and out-of-stream uses. As the demand for water across the region increases, western Washington Tribes need critical information about water availability, water use, and ecological needs for water in order to manage their resources. To assess tribal water resources comprehensively in western Washington,...

Contacts:
Date published: January 9, 2011
Status: Completed

White River Basin and Lake Tapps Water Quality

The Issue: Water diverted from the upper White River to maintain water levels in Lake Tapps impacts flows and fish resources in the White River. In the lower White River, releases of warm water from Lake Tapps for hydropower generation frequently lowered concentrations of dissolved oxygen and increased water temperatures at river mile 1.8. In the White River diversion reach, has segments that...

Date published: January 7, 2011
Status: Completed

Linking Sources to the Sound

The Issue: Bioaccumulation of toxic chemicals in freshwater and marine aquatic research in the Puget Sound continues to be a concern for environmental managers and general public. With renewed interest, Washington State Department of Ecology (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/pstoxics/) began a phased, coordinated effort...

Date published: January 6, 2011
Status: Completed

Johns Creek Framework

Located in Mason County in western Washington State, Johns Creek is an important producer of coho and chum salmon. In 1984, the Washington State Department of Ecology established an Instream Resources Protection Program for Water Resource Inventory Area 14 (WAC 173-514) to retain sufficient in-stream flow to protect fish and wildlife, scenic, aesthetic and other environmental values. This...

Date published: January 6, 2011
Status: Completed

Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park is known for its clear, near-pristine water. Because the water is very low in plant nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, the lake is extremely susceptible to even small increases in nutrient levels, which could cause algal blooms and impact the health of three species of fish in the lake. Currently, the growth of bottom-dwelling algae in developed...

Contacts: Patrick Moran
Date published: January 5, 2011
Status: Completed

Hood Canal

In September 2002, fish in Hood Canal near Hoodsport were under stress from low concentrations of dissolved oxygen, prompting the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to temporarily close parts of Hood Canal to some types of fishing during the month of October. In 2003, low dissolved oxygen conditions worsened, some fish kills were observed as early as June, and by October large...

Contacts: Rich Sheibley
Date published: January 5, 2011
Status: Completed

Yakima River Basin

The Yakima River flows 215 miles from the outlet of Keechelus Lake in the central Washington Cascades southeasterly to the Columbia River, draining an area of 6,155 square miles. The Yakima River Basin is one of the most intensively irrigated areas in the United States. Population in the Yakima River Basin was about 238,000 in 1990.

Increasing demands for water for municipal, fisheries...

Date published: January 3, 2011
Status: Completed

Columbia Plateau Groundwater Availability Study

The Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System (CPRAS) covers about 44,000 square miles of eastern Oregon and Washington and western Idaho. The primary aquifers are basalts of the Columbia River Basalt Group and overlying basin-fill sediments. Groundwater availability issues in the basin include: 1) widespread water-level declines caused by pumping, 2) reduction in base flow to rivers and...

Date published: January 2, 2011
Status: Completed

Bainbridge Island

Ground water is the sole source of drinking water for the City of Bainbridge Island in Kitsap County, Washington. As the population grows, demand for ground water grows, too. However, because ground water is limited by area and by the potential for seawater intrusion, the City recognizes in the Water Resources Element of its comprehensive plan that water resources must be carefully managed and...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 2, 2011
Status: Completed

Quilcene Bay

In response to concerns that increased use of ground- and surface-water supplies in watersheds in Washington leaves insufficient in-stream flow for fish and other users, the Washington State legislature passed the Watershed Management Act of 1998, which encourages watershed planning at the local level. As part of this planning, stakeholders within a Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA) need...

Contacts: Joseph Jones
Filter Total Items: 859
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Year Published: 2014

Identifying stakeholder-relevant climate change impacts: a case study in the Yakima River Basin, Washington, USA

Designing climate-related research so that study results will be useful to natural resource managers is a unique challenge. While decision makers increasingly recognize the need to consider climate change in their resource management plans, and climate scientists recognize the importance of providing locally-relevant climate data and projections,...

Jenni, K.; Graves, D.; Hardiman, Jill M.; Hatten, James R.; Mastin, Mark C.; Mesa, Matthew G.; Montag, J.; Nieman, Timothy; Voss, Frank D.; Maule, Alec G.
Jenni, K. D. Graves, J. Hardiman, J. Hatten, M. Mastin, M. Mesa, J. Montag, T. Nieman, F. Voss, and A. Maule. 2014. Identifying stakeholder-relevant climate change impacts: A case study in the Yakima River Basin, Washington, USA. Climatic Change, 124 (1-2): 371-384

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Year Published: 2014

Wind River subbasin restoration: U.S. Geological Survey annual report November 2012 through December 2013

Executive Summary The Wind River subbasin in southwest Washington State provides habitat for a population of wild Lower Columbia River steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss. There have been no hatchery steelhead planted in the Wind River subbasin since 1994, and hatchery adults are estimated to be less than one percent of adults in any year (pers comm....

Jezorek, Ian G.; Connolly, Patrick J.

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Year Published: 2014

Evaluating a slope-stability model for shallow rain-induced landslides using gage and satellite data

Improving prediction of landslide early warning systems requires accurate estimation of the conditions that trigger slope failures. This study tested a slope-stability model for shallow rainfall-induced landslides by utilizing rainfall information from gauge and satellite records. We used the TRIGRS model (Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid-...

Yatheendradas, S.; Kirschbaum, D.; Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.

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Year Published: 2014

Snake River fall Chinook salmon life history investigations, 1/1/2012 - 12/31/2012: Annual report 2002-032-00

Executive Summary a. Fish Population RM&E This annual report describes the data collected and analyses conducted during calendar years 2012-2013 by staff of project 20023200. The USGS contributed only to the predation research and reservoir invertebrate work described in this report and the presentation of their results is consistent with USGS...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Connor, Willam P.; Bellgraph, Brian J.; Chittaro, Paul M.

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Year Published: 2014

Research, monitoring, and evaluation of emerging issues and measures to recover the Snake River fall Chinook salmon ESU, 1/1/2012 – 12/31/2013: Annual report, 1991-029-00

The portion of the Snake River fall Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha ESU that spawns upstream of Lower Granite Dam transitioned from low to high abundance during 1992–2014 in association with U.S. Endangered Species Act recovery efforts and other Federally mandated actions. This annual report focuses on (1) numeric and habitat use...

Connor, William P.; Mullins, Frank; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Perry, Russell W.; Erhardt, John M.; St. John, Scott J.; Bickford, Brad K.; Rhodes, Tobyn N.

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Year Published: 2014

Post-release behavior and movement patterns of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) after capture using alternative commercial fish gear, lower Columbia River, Washington and Oregon, 2013

Commercial salmon Oncorhynchus spp. fishers traditionally have used gill nets, and more recently tangle nets, to capture adult salmon in the lower Columbia River, Washington and Oregon, but these gear types are not selective and can result in unintentional injury or death to non-target species, which is a problem when wild or Endangered Species...

Liedtke, Theresa L.; Kock, Tobias J.; Evans, Scott D.; Hansen, Gabriel S.; Rondorf, Dennis W.
Post-release behavior and movement patterns of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) after capture using alternative commercial fish gear, lower Columbia River, Washington and Oregon, 2013; 2014; OFR; 2014-1069; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Kock, Tobias J.; Evans, Scott D.; Hansen, Gabriel S.; Rondorf, Dennis W.

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Year Published: 2014

Evaluation of juvenile salmonid behavior near a prototype weir box at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington, 2013

Collection of juvenile salmonids at Cowlitz Falls Dam is a critical part of the effort to restore salmon in the upper Cowlitz River because the majority of fish that are not collected at the dam pass downstream and enter a large reservoir where they become landlocked and lost to the anadromous fish population. However, the juvenile fish collection...

Kock, Tobias J.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Ekstrom, Brian K.; Tomka, Ryan G.; Rondorf, Dennis W.
Evaluation of juvenile salmonid behavior near a prototype weir box at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington, 2013; 2014; OFR; 2014-1042; Kock, Tobias J.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Ekstrom, Brian K.; Tomka, Ryan G.; Rondorf, Dennis W.

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Year Published: 2014

Guidelines for monitoring and adaptively managing restoration of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (O. mykiss) on the Elwha River

As of January, 2014, the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams on the Elwha River, Washington, represents the largest dam decommissioning to date in the United States. Dam removal is the single largest step in meeting the goals of the Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act of 1992 (The Elwha Act) — full restoration of the...

Peters, R.J.; Duda, J.J.; Pess, G.R.; Zimmerman, M.; Crain, P.; Hughes, Z.; Wilson, A.; Liermann, M.C.; Morley, S.A.; McMillan, J.; Denton, K.; Warheit, K.
Guidelines for monitoring and adaptively managing restoration of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (O. mykiss) on the Elwha River; 2014; Federal Government Series; Peters, R.J.; Duda, J.J.; Pess, G.R.; Zimmerman, M.; Crain, P.; Hughes, Z.; Wilson, A.; Liermann, M.C.; Morley, S.A.; McMillan, J.; Denton, K.; Warheit, K.

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Year Published: 2014

Methow and Columbia Rivers studies: summary of data collection, comparison of database structure and habitat protocols, and impact of additional PIT tag interrogation systems to survival estimates, 2008-2012

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) received funding from the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to provide monitoring and evaluation on the effectiveness of stream restoration efforts by Reclamation in the Methow River watershed. This monitoring and evaluation program is designed to partially fulfill Reclamation’s part of the 2008 Biological...

Martens, Kyle D.; Tibbits, Wesley T.; Watson, Grace A.; Newsom, Michael A.; Connolly, Patrick J.
Methow and Columbia Rivers studies: summary of data collection, comparison of database structure and habitat protocols, and impact of additional PIT tag interrogation systems to survival estimates, 2008-2012; 2014; OFR; 2014-1016; Martens, Kyle D.; Tibbits, Wesley T.; Watson, Grace A.; Newsom, Michael A.; Connolly, Patrick J.

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Year Published: 2014

Prey availability, consumption, and quality contribute to variation in growth of subyearling Chinook Salmon rearing in riverine and reservoir habitats

We examined prey availability, prey consumed, and diet energy content as sources of variation in growth of natural fall Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha subyearlings rearing in riverine and reservoir habitats in the Snake River. Subyearlings in riverine habitat primarily consumed aquatic insects (e.g., Diptera, Ephemeroptera,...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Erhardt, John M.; St. John, Scott J.

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Year Published: 2014

Diverse rupture modes for surface-deforming upper plate earthquakes in the southern Puget Lowland of Washington State

Earthquake prehistory of the southern Puget Lowland, in the north-south compressive regime of the migrating Cascadia forearc, reflects diverse earthquake rupture modes with variable recurrence. Stratigraphy and Bayesian analyses of previously reported and new 14C ages in trenches and cores along backthrust scarps in the Seattle fault zone...

Nelson, Alan R.; Personius, Stephen F.; Sherrod, Brian L.; Kelsey, Harvey M.; Johnson, Samuel Y.; Bradley, Lee-Ann; Wells, Ray E.

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Year Published: 2014

Modeling effects of climate change on Yakima River salmonid habitats

We evaluated the potential effects of two climate change scenarios on salmonid habitats in the Yakima River by linking the outputs from a watershed model, a river operations model, a two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic model, and a geographic information system (GIS). The watershed model produced a discharge time series (hydrograph) in two study...

Hatten, James R.; Batt, Thomas R.; Connolly, Patrick J.; Maule, Alec G.
Modeling effects of climate change on Yakima River salmonid habitats; 2014; Article; Journal; Climatic Change; Hatten, James R.; Batt, Thomas R.; Connolly, Patrick J.; Maule, Alec G.

Filter Total Items: 886
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,

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

Filter Total Items: 390
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.

USGS
December 9, 2013

A new assessment of shoreline change along the Pacific Northwest coast from the late 1800s to present found that while the majority of beaches are stable or slightly accreting (adding sand), many Oregon beaches have experienced an increase in erosion hazards in recent decades.

Members of the Colombia-USA Bi-national Exchange examine historical...
September 25, 2013

Scientsts from the Pacific Northwest and Colombia work together to understand and communicate volcano hazards.

USGS
September 17, 2013

Officials from South America are helping to save lives in communities around Cascade Range volcanoes by sharing their expertise in a bi-national exchange that brings Colombian emergency managers and scientists to the Pacific Northwest, following a recent visit to Colombia by U.S. counterparts.

USGS
September 16, 2013

Officials from South America are helping to save lives in communities around Cascade Range volcanoes by sharing their expertise in a bi-national exchange that brings Colombian emergency managers and scientists to the Pacific Northwest, following a recent visit to Colombia by U.S. counterparts. 

USGS
September 12, 2013

A new computer model of the Chimacum Creek Basin built to simulate “what-if” scenarios for basin groundwater managers indicates that most of the water recharging the groundwater system flows directly out to marine waters and coastal areas, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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