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: 270
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...

Date published: January 3, 2013
Status: Completed

Little Spokane Hydrogeology

The Issue: Groundwater is an important resource for domestic, commercial, and agricultural usage in the Little Spokane River Basin, and groundwater discharge helps maintain streamflow in area streams. Consequently, as the population grows, and commercial and agricultural activity increase, so does the demand for groundwater. However, the quantity of usable groundwater, and the...

Contacts: Sue Kahle
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...

Filter Total Items: 742
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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.

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Year Published: 2009

Water velocity, turbulence, and migration rate of subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the free-flowing and impounded Snake River

We studied the migratory behavior of subyearling fall Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in free-flowing and impounded reaches of the Snake River to evaluate the hypothesis that velocity and turbulence are the primary causal mechanisms of downstream migration. The hypothesis states that impoundment reduces velocity and turbulence and alters...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Kock, Tobias J.; Haskell, Craig A.; Connor, William P.; Steinhorst, R. Kirk
Tiffan, K.F., T.J. Kock, C.A. Haskell, W.P. Connor, and R.K. Steinhorst. 2009. Water velocity, turbulence, and migration rate of subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the free-flowing and impounded Snake River. Trans Am. Fish. Soc. 138(2): 373-384. DOI:10.1577/T08-051.1. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1577/T08-051.1

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Year Published: 2008

Landslides and engineering geology of the Seattle, Washington, area

This volume brings together case studies and summary papers describing the application of state-of-the-art engineering geologic methods to landslide hazard analysis for the Seattle, Washington, area. An introductory chapter provides a thorough description of the Quaternary and bedrock geology of Seattle. Nine additional chapters review the history...

Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Highland, Lynn M.
Landslides and engineering geology of the Seattle, Washington, area; 2008; Book; 20; Edited by Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Highland, Lynn M.

Filter Total Items: 863
USGS researcher examines large-scale structural features of the 2014 SR530 landslide near Oso, Washington
September 22, 2015

Scientist stands on the bank of a still river

USGS hydrologist Mark Reid looks at one of the many grabens (extensional basins) that formed as the Oso landslide swept across the North Fork Stillaguamish River valley.

August 23, 2015

K1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: K1 West Transect; Depth: 6.0 Meters (19.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 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 (1:30 seconds) and brown seaweed was abundant and appears close to pre-dam

August 21, 2015

A2 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: A2 West Transect; Depth: 12.9 Meters (Feet 42.3); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.5883331; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with a few scattered boulders. Seaweeds have returned but are sparse and

August 21, 2015

A2 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: A2 East Transect; Depth: 12.4 Meters (Feet 40.8); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 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, mainly bull kelp Nereocystis luetkeana (0:14, 0

August 20, 2015

F2 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: F2 West Transect; Depth: 11.2 Meters (36.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.55036603; Site Description: Visibility is poor on video due to a large amount of surge on the day of the dive. Substrate is mainly a gravel - cobble mixture with an

August 19, 2015

4SP1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: 4SP1 - West Transect; Depth: 6.1 Meters (19.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.8 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) East; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 3 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15257, -123.557376; Site Description: The site has converted from gravel/cobble substrate to all sand. Seaweed is completely absent. 
 

August 9, 2015

L1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: L1 West Transect; Depth: 11.4 Meters (37.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.3 Kilometers (1.4 Miles) west; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13957527,-123.59427175; Site Description: This transect is medium depth. The first 20 meters contains scattered boulders (0:18 seconds). Where there are no boulders, substrate is still

August 9, 2015

L1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: L1 East Transect; Depth: 11.6 Meters (38.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.3 Kilometers (1.4 Miles) west; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13957527,-123.59359993; Site Description: This transect is medium depth. Substrate is mainly fine sediment/sand/mud with a few scattered boulders (1:15 seconds). Seaweed has returned.

August 8, 2015

K1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: K1 East Transect; Depth: 6.7 Meters (22.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 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 (0:44, 0:48 seconds) and brown seaweed was abundant and appears close to pre-dam

August 8, 2015

A1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: A1 West Transect; Depth: 8.7 Meters (28.5 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.9 Kilometers (1.2 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.586203; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with patches of boulders. Seaweeds have returned. A boulder

Filter Total Items: 378
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.

USGS
May 6, 2013

May is Volcano Awareness Month in Washington state.  While no volcanoes in Washington currently show indications of immediate reawakening, experience has taught us that volcanoes often give just a few days' warning before an eruption begins.  Monitoring Washington’s volcanoes and developing eruption response plans are important tasks for volcano scientists and public officials.

Scientists Discuss Their Work in Short Videos...
May 6, 2013

Meet scientists of the USGS Volcano Science Center and learn more about their jobs as they watch over 161 known active volcanoes within the US and its territories.

USGS
April 22, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory is cancelling its planned May 4th public open house due to to the federal budget sequestration.

USGS
April 3, 2013

New scientific findings published in Ecology reveal that interactions of climate, soils, shrubs, and a natural nitrogen fertilization process affect regrowth of forests following wildfire in southern Oregon and northern California. Managers can use this information to consider post-fire management practices, including fertilization and shrub-removal.

USGS
March 27, 2013

Floodplain managers downstream of Mount Rainier are using information in a report recently published by the U.S. Geological Survey to manage flood risks in their communities.

USGS
February 5, 2013

Geologic barriers, the intermixing of water between aquifers through wells, and groundwater pumping contribute to the pattern of declines of groundwater levels of the Columbia Plateau, according to a report published 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