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: 267
Date published: January 2, 2013
Status: Completed

Phosphorus SPARROW Model for the Yakima River

The Issue - During the 2004-07 irrigation season, nutrient concentrations in the lower Yakima River were high enough at certain times and locations to support the abundant growth of periphytic algae and macrophytes which resulted in large daily fluctuations in dissolved oxygen concentrations and pH levels that exceeded the Washington State water-quality standards for these...

Contacts: Norman Buccola
Date published: January 1, 2013
Status: Completed

Chimacum GW Model

Projected increases in population and development in northeastern Jefferson County, Washington, are expected to lead to increased groundwater withdrawals in the Chimacum Creek Basin. Changes in land use and climate could reduce groundwater recharge, thereby reducing groundwater available for drinking and for baseflow to streams that host endangered fish species.

The USGS is developing...

Date published: January 1, 2013
Status: Completed

Consumptive Use

The Issue: Fresh groundwater withdrawals for irrigation from 66 principal aquifers in the United States comprised approximately three-fourths of total groundwater withdrawals in the year 2000. The magnitude of these withdrawals is certainly substantial but difficult to quantify because few states actually monitor groundwater withdrawals for irrigation. Water-resource managers...

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...

Filter Total Items: 747
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Year Published: 2009

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

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

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

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Year Published: 2009

Application of the SHOALS survey system to fisheries investigations in the Columbia River

We used a Scanning Hydrographic Operational Airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) Survey (SHOALS) system to collect high-resolution bathymetry for 33 km of the Hanford Reach. Data were used in conjunction with hydrodynamic and predictive habitat models within a GIS (Geographical Information System) framework to evaluate the effects of a...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Wagner, Paul G.; Wolf, Keith S.; Hoffarth , Paul A.

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Year Published: 2009

Detections of Acoustic-Tagged Green Sturgeon in Baker Bay on the Lower Columbia River during September - November 2008

Acoustic transmitters implanted in green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) captured in rivers in California were detected by acoustic receivers deployed within and around Baker Bay. The receivers were deployed at eight locations in the Bay and adjacent navigation channels of the Lower Columbia River during a period of anticipated channel dredging....

Parsley, Michael J.
Detections of Acoustic-Tagged Green Sturgeon in Baker Bay on the Lower Columbia River during September - November 2008; 2009; OFR; 2009-1026; Parsley, Michael J.

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Year Published: 2009

A spatial model of white sturgeon rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA

Concerns over the potential effects of in-water placement of dredged materials prompted us to develop a GIS-based model that characterizes in a spatially explicit manner white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA. The spatial model was developed using water depth, riverbed slope and roughness, fish...

Hatten, J.R.; Parsley, M.J.
A spatial model of white sturgeon rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA; 2009; Article; Journal; Ecological Modelling; Hatten, J. R.; Parsley, M. J.

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Year Published: 2009

Adult chinook salmon passage at Little Goose Dam in relation to spill operations

Spill patterns at Little Goose Dam in 2007 were modified in anticipation of a spillway weir installation intended to improve downstream passage of juvenile salmonids. However, in spill pattern was associated with reduced daily counts of adult salmon passing the dam. Consequently, the behaviors and upstream passage times of radio-tagged adult...

Jepson, M.A.; Caudill , C.C.; Clabough, T.S.; Peery, C.A.; Beeman, J.W.; Fielding, S.

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Year Published: 2009

Behavioural thermoregulation by subyearling fall (autumn) Chinook salmon oncorhynchus tshawytscha in a reservoir

This study investigated behavioural thermoregulation by subyearling fall (autumn) Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in a reservoir on the Snake River, Washington, U.S.A. During the summer, temperatures in the reservoir varied from 23?? C on the surface to 11?? C at 14 m depth. Subyearlings implanted with temperature-sensing radio...

Tiffan, K.F.; Kock, T.J.; Connor, W.P.; Steinhorst, R.K.; Rondorf, D.W.
Behavioural thermoregulation by subyearling fall (autumn) Chinook salmon oncorhynchus tshawytscha in a reservoir; 2009; Article; Journal; Journal of Fish Biology; Tiffan, K. F.; Kock, T. J.; Connor, W. P.; Steinhorst, R. K.; Rondorf, D. W.

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Year Published: 2009

Evaluation of strobe lights to reduce turbine entrainment of juvenile steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington

We conducted a radiotelemetry evaluation to determine if strobe lights could be used to decrease turbine entrainment of juvenile steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington. We found that radio-tagged juvenile steelhead approached and entered two spillbays (one lighted, one unlighted) in equal proportions. However, the...

Kock, Tobias J.; Evans, Scott D.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Rondorf, Dennis W.; Kohn, Mike

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Year Published: 2009

Factors affecting the age-C resident fish community along shorelines of the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River

The Hanford Reach is one of the few remaining unimpounded sections of the Columbia River. However, because of flow management at upstream dams, there are often large fluctuations in water level. To determine how environmental conditions might affect age-0 resident fishes in the Hanford Reach, we evaluated species composition, distribution,...

Gadomski, D.M.; Wagner, P.G.
Factors affecting the age-C resident fish community along shorelines of the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River; 2009; Article; Journal; Northwest Science; Gadomski, D. M.; Wagner, P. G.

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Year Published: 2009

Molecular detection of native and invasive marine invertebrate larvae present in ballast and open water environmental samples collected in Puget Sound

Non-native marine species have been and continue to be introduced into Puget Sound via several vectors including ship's ballast water. Some non-native species become invasive and negatively impact native species or near shore habitats. We present a new methodology for the development and testing of taxon specific PCR primers designed to assess...

Harvey, J.B.J.; Hoy, M.S.; Rodriguez, R.J.
Molecular detection of native and invasive marine invertebrate larvae present in ballast and open water environmental samples collected in Puget Sound; 2009; Article; Journal; Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology; Harvey, J. B. J.; Hoy, M. S.; Rodriguez, R. J.

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Year Published: 2009

Passage, survival, and approach patterns of juvenile salmonids at Little Goose Dam

No abstract available 

Beeman, J.W.; Braatz, A.C.; Fielding, S.D.; Hansel, H.C.; Brown, S.T.; George , G.T.; Haner, P.V.; Hansen, G.S.; Shurtleff, D.J.

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Year Published: 2009

Prevalence of viral erythrocytic necrosis in Pacific herring and epizootics in Skagit Bay, Puget Sound, Washington.

Epizootics of viral erythrocytic necrosis (VEN) occurred among juvenile Pacific herring Clupea pallasii in Skagit Bay, Puget Sound, Washington, during 2005-2007 and were characterized by high prevalences and intensities of cytoplasmic inclusion bodies within circulating erythrocytes. The prevalence of VEN peaked at 67% during the first epizootic...

Hershberger, P.K.; Elder, N.E.; Grady, C.A.; Gregg, J.L.; Pacheco, C.A.; Greene, C.; Rice, C.; Meyers, T.R.
Prevalence of viral erythrocytic necrosis in Pacific herring and epizootics in Skagit Bay, Puget Sound, Washington.; 2009; Article; Journal; Journal of Aquatic Animal Health; Hershberger, P. K.; Elder, N. E.; Grady, C. A.; Gregg, J. L.; Pacheco, C. A.; Greene, C.; Rice, C.; Meyers, T. R.

Filter Total Items: 871
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

Buffalo sculpin camouflaged
July 25, 2016

Buffalo sculpin camouflaged

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

Location: Strait of Juan de

...
July 25, 2016

D2 East Transect – 2016

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

Sanddab
July 25, 2016

Sanddab

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

Location: Strait of Juan de Fuca, near the

...
July 25, 2016

L1 East Transect – 2016

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

July 18, 2016

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

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

Scientist stands on bank of landslide debris.  Fallen trees throughout the photo.
July 13, 2016

Extensional structural features of the 2014 SR530 landslide near Oso

USGS hydrologist Mark Reid examines an extensional basin in the middle of the Oso landslide deposit.  The headscarp (near-vertical cliff at the back of the landslide) is visible at the top of the image.  The prominent tree is one of many that fell and became perched as the landslide spread out over the river valley.

Columbia River Research Laboratory
July 13, 2016

Columbia River Research Laboratory

Image of the Western Fisheries Research Center, Columbia River Research Laboratory, Cook, WA

Research team in the Northern Cascades.
July 7, 2016

USGS - NOROCK Research team in the Northern Cascades.

USGS - NOROCK field team in the Northern Cascades studying Hoary marmots and American pika and snowpack dynamics.  

Juvenile steelhead smolts
July 7, 2016

Juvenile steelhead smolts

Juvenile steelhead smolts become silvery and scales become loose as they transition into their seawater life history stages.

Filter Total Items: 384
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.

USGS
August 5, 2013

TACOMA, Wash. — Scientists have sorted out and mapped the aquifers in the Little Spokane River Basin, giving the first detailed picture of the groundwater system, according to a report published by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Spokane County.

USGS
June 13, 2013

The spread of a highly virulent fish virus in four separate coastal Washington watersheds from 2007-2011 has been described in a new research paper by the U.S. Geological Survey. The most probable source of the virus was identified as steelhead trout originating from the Columbia River Basin.

USGS
June 6, 2013

USGS scientists took high-tech sensors typically found in devices such as smart phones and embedded them into a new method to monitor riverbed movements that can help protect spawning habitat for endangered salmon. Developed in cooperation with Seattle Public Utilities for the Cedar River, the new method is published in the Journal of Hydrology.

USGS
May 28, 2013

North America's largest vulture, the California condor, once graced the skies of the Pacific Northwest from northern California to British Columbia and was deeply woven into the fabric of many Native American cultures. A new book by two federal scientists documents the condors history in the region, from prehistoric times to the early 20th century.

USGS
May 28, 2013

The Columbia River Gorge Commission and the United States Geological Survey have initiated an agreement that will put the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in the vanguard locally and nationally with an innovative multi-agency resource management and community development partnership.

USGS
May 16, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey's Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC), headquartered in Seattle, has led cutting-edge research on fish and aquatic environments for nearly 80 years – first in the Pacific Northwest, then nationwide and throughout the world.

USGS
May 15, 2013

For about one month, an airplane operated under contract to the U.S. Geological Survey will be making low-level flights over a 1000-square-mile area centered over Spokane and including parts of eastern Washington and western Idaho.

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