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 4, 2009
Status: Completed

Lower Bonaparte Springs

The Issue: The Confederated Colville Tribes are concerned with maintaining and enhancing endangered summer steelhead fish stocks in the Okanogan River and its tributaries. One Okanogan River subbasin of particular interest is Bonaparte Creek where almost 50 percent of the summer steelhead captured in 2008 were of natural rather than hatchery stock. The Colville Tribes are working to ensure...

Date published: January 3, 2009
Status: Completed

FEMA Technical Support

9722-DRE00 - FEMA Technical Support, Pre-Declaration, January 2009 Floods - Completed FY2009

A wide plume of warm moist air streaming in from west of Hawaii caused widespread rainfall throughout western Washington in early January 2009. National Weather Service flood stages were exceeded in many different basins, most of which drain from the west side of the Cascade Range. Flows at four...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 1, 2009
Status: Completed

WSDOT Stormwater Monitoring

The Washington State Department of Transportation, or WSDOT, monitors the water quality of runoff from state highways and other transportation facilities under their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The NPDES permit requires WSDOT to make sure that the stormwater meets Clean Water Act and other regulations designed to restore and protect our country's water...

Contacts: Rich Sheibley
Date published: December 2, 2008
Status: Completed

Navigable Rivers in Washington

Determining whether a stream or river in Washington is "navigable" is important because it helps establish state ownership of the "bed and shore" of navigable waterways as stated in the Washington State constitution. State-owned lands are managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Because the constitution does not explicitly define what criteria should be used to...

Date published: January 5, 2008
Status: Completed

Potholes Reservoir

Managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), water is diverted from the Columbia River into Potholes Reservoir and the canal system for delivery to irrigators.

Through the USGS/USBR collaborative Watershed and River Systems Management Program (WARSMP), the USBR will be developing a river-management model to improve the efficiency of water distribution. An important input needed for...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 4, 2008
Status: Completed

Mid-Columbia Habitat Project

To meet their dam licensing agreements, operators of privately owned dams are required to offset the unavoidable loss of endangered salmon passing the dam by restoring and enhancing streams and providing hatcheries. Finding suitable side channels is made difficult by subtle features and overgrowth.

To help the Mid-Columbia Tributary Committee identify sites for restoration and...

Contacts: Joseph Jones
Date published: January 3, 2008
Status: Completed

Green River Geomorphic Responses

In the Pacific Northwest, water, sediment, and vegetation primarily determine the form of large river channels and shape their ecosystems. Dams on rivers affect all of these elements, with consequences for habitats and aquatic species. Understanding how water, sediment, and vegetation interact in habitats is key to managing rivers. In the case of the middle Green River in King County,...

Date published: January 2, 2008
Status: Completed

Eastbank Aquifer near Rocky Reach Dam

Ground water from the Eastbank Aquifer system in north-central Washington is a regional water supply for about 50,000 people, as well as for a fish hatchery operated by the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD). The fish hatchery compensates for salmon and steelhead lost in the operation of two hydroelectric projects on the Columbia River owned by the PUD. The fish hatchery needs...

Date published: January 1, 2008
Status: Completed

DOH Nitrates

Ground water is a significant source of drinking water in Washington State, and keeping it free of contamination is important for public health. Public supply wells are frequently tested for nitrate concentrations, but private wells are tested only when they are drilled. This limits information about the potential exposure to elevated nitrate concentrations in private wells.

To help the...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 2, 2007
Status: Completed

San Juan County

Aquifers of the San Juan Islands, which are the principal source of fresh water, are commonly intruded by seawater at near-shoreline locations (less than one mile from the shore). Because the demand for ground water has escalated in recent years due to population growth and is expected to continue, the progression of seawater intrusion and areas most susceptible to future seawater intrusion...

Date published: January 1, 2007
Status: Completed

Yakima River Temperature Model

In the Yakima and Naches Rivers, water temperature is often a limiting factor in the survival of salmon during spawning and rearing. The Bureau of Reclamation uses a computer model to assess the effects of reservoir-management scenarios on temperatures and the success of salmon restoration. To provide the daily maximum and long-term water temperature data needed by the model, the Bureau of...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 3, 2006
Status: Completed

Salmon Creek Basin

Two reservoirs in the Salmon Creek Basin in north-central Washington store runoff from the upper basin for out-of-basin irrigation of farmlands. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), developed a precipitation-runoff model that simulates historical daily unregulated streamflows for different locations in the Salmon Creek Basin. The model...

Filter Total Items: 718
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2007

White sturgeon mitigation and restoration in the Columbia and Snake rivers upstream from Bonneville Dam, Annual Progress Report April 2005 - March 2006. Report C.

River discharge and water temperatures that occurred during April through July 2005 provided conditions suitable for spawning by white sturgeon downstream from Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day, and McNary dams. Optimal spawning temperatures in the four tailraces occurred for 3-4 weeks and coincided with the peak of the river hydrograph. However,...

Parsley, M.J.; Kofoot, P.

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Year Published: 2007

Seismic Hazard Maps for Seattle, Washington, Incorporating 3D Sedimentary Basin Effects, Nonlinear Site Response, and Rupture Directivity

This report presents probabilistic seismic hazard maps for Seattle, Washington, based on over 500 3D simulations of ground motions from scenario earthquakes. These maps include 3D sedimentary basin effects and rupture directivity. Nonlinear site response for soft-soil sites of fill and alluvium was also applied in the maps. The report describes...

Frankel, Arthur D.; Stephenson, William J.; Carver, David L.; Williams, Robert A.; Odum, Jack K.; Rhea, Susan
Seismic Hazard Maps for Seattle, Washington, Incorporating 3D Sedimentary Basin Effects, Nonlinear Site Response, and Rupture Directivity; 2007; OFR; 2007-1175; Frankel, Arthur D.; Stephenson, William J.; Carver, David L.; Williams, Robert A.; Odum, Jack K; Rhea, Susan

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Year Published: 2007

Water, Ice, and Meteorological Measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, Balance Years 2004 and 2005

Winter snow accumulation and summer snow and ice ablation were measured at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, to estimate glacier mass-balance quantities for balance years 2004 and 2005. The North Cascade Range in the vicinity of South Cascade Glacier accumulated smaller than normal winter snowpacks during water years 2004 and 2005....

Bidlake, William R.; Josberger, Edward G.; Savoca, Mark E.
Water, Ice, and Meteorological Measurements at South Cascade Glacier, Washington, Balance Years 2004 and 2005; 2007; SIR; 2007-5055; Bidlake, William R.; Josberger, Edward G.; Savoca, Mark E.

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Year Published: 2007

Investigating passage of ESA-listed juvenile fall Chinook salmon at Lower Granite Dam during winter when the fish bypass system is not operated. 2006 Annual Report

During the winter of 2005-06, we radio and PIT tagged and released 48 juvenile fall Chinook salmon to evaluate over-wintering behavior and dam passage in the lower Snake River, Washington. Fish were released at the upstream end of the Lower Granite Dam forebay in November and December 2005. Fixed radio telemetry detection sites located in forebay...

Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Kock, Tobias J.; Connor, William P.

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Year Published: 2007

Bypass system modification at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River improved the survival of juvenile salmon

From 1987 to 1992, we evaluated a fish bypass system at Bonneville Dam Powerhouse 2 on the Columbia River. The survival of subyearling Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha released into the system ranged from 0.774 to 0.911 and was significantly lower than the survival of test fish released into turbines and the area immediately below the...

Ferguson, J.W.; Sandford, B.P.; Reagan, R.E.; Gilbreath, L.G.; Meyer, E.B.; Ledgerwood, R.D.; Adams, N.S.
Bypass system modification at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River improved the survival of juvenile salmon; 2007; Article; Journal; Transactions of the American Fisheries Society; Ferguson, J. W.; Sandford, B. P.; Reagan, R. E.; Gilbreath, L. G.; Meyer, E. B.; Ledgerwood, R. D.; Adams, N. S.

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Year Published: 2007

Glacier mass-balance fluctuations in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, USA

The more than 40 year record of net and seasonal mass-balance records from measurements made by the United States Geological Survey on South Cascade Glacier, Washington, and Wolverine and Gulkana Glaciers, Alaska, shows annual and interannual fluctuations that reflect changes in the controlling climatic conditions at regional and global scales. As...

Josberger, E.G.; Bidlake, W.R.; March, R.S.; Kennedy, B.W.
Glacier mass-balance fluctuations in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, USA; 2007; Conference Paper; Annals of Glaciology; Josberger, E. G.; Bidlake, W. R.; March, R. S.; Kennedy, B. W.

Filter Total Items: 876
August 5, 2015

D2 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: D2 East Transect; Depth: 12.1 Meters (39.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.3 Kilometers (0.2 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15233001,-123.56829403; Site Description: This site is right off the mouth of the river. Substrate is mainly gravel. This year lots of dead clam shells (0:40, 1:03 seconds) are scattered along

Moon snails
August 5, 2015

Moon snails

Moon snails - 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: USGS, Western Fisheries Research

...
July 25, 2015

J1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: J1 West Transect; Depth: 9.2 Meters (30.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 6.6 Kilometers (4.1 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13607725,-123.48002186; Site Description: Visibility was bad on this date and video is of poor quality. This site is medium depth. Substrates is mainly a gravel/sand mixture with some

July 25, 2015

J1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: J1 East Transect; Depth: 9.4 Meters (30.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 6.7 Kilometers (4.1 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13607725,-123.47935008; Site Description: This site is medium depth. Substrates is mainly a gravel/sand mixture. Seaweed density has increased. Seven species of brown seaweed were recorded

July 24, 2015

F1 East Transect – 2015 - YouTube

Permanent Site: F1 East Transect; Depth: 6.3 Meters (20.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.3 Kilometers (0.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15292999, -123.55011402; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Substrate is still mainly sand but some cobble is present (2:15, 2:27 seconds). The brown acid kelp Desmarestia spp. has

July 24, 2015

H2 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: H2 East Transect; Depth: 8.1 Meters (26.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15008216,-123.53210661; Site Description: This site is medium to shallow depth. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand, cobble and an occasional boulder and has not changed since dam

July 24, 2015

4SP1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: 4SP1 - East Transect; Depth: 5.5 Meters (17.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.8 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) East; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15257, -123.556704; Site Description: The site has converted from gravel/cobble substrate to all sand. Seaweed is completely absent. 
 

July 24, 2015

F1 West Transect – 2015

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: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15292999, -123.55078602; Site Description: The video is of poor quality. This is a shallow site. Substrate is still mainly sand with an occasional cobble. Woody debris is present (0:39 

July 24, 2015

H2 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: H2 West Transect; Depth: 7.7 Meters (25.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15008216,-123.53277857; Site Description: This site is medium to shallow depth. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand, cobble and an occasional boulder and has not changed since dam

July 22, 2015

C1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: C1 West Transect; Depth: Meters (Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57361291; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. All seaweeds are absent. Woody debris is present (0:06 seconds). Invertebrates are scarce and are almost exclusively the ornate

July 22, 2015

E2 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: E2 East Transect; Depth: 14.8 Meters (48.5 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.9 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15653002,-123.56130401; Site Description: This is one of our deeper sites. Substrate is mainly gravel/cobble with an occasional boulder. A lot of shell debris was present this year (1:12 

July 22, 2015

E2 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: E2 West Transect; Depth: 14.8 Meters (48.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.9 Kilometers (0.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15653002, -123.56197605; Site Description: This is one of our deeper sites. Substrate is mainly gravel/cobble with scattered boulders. Visibility was very poor when this video was taken. A

Filter Total Items: 378
USGS science for a changing world logo
September 13, 2011

Selected and compressed for your convenience, here is the Elwha River science that the USGS has been working on, often as part of an interagency collabora­tion. The topics are presented in chronological order with session in­formation. USGS scientists involved are listed. Complete listings can be found in the symposium program.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 13, 2011

Note: This news release modifies the dates in the news release of August 31, 2011. 

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Climbers and hikers on the cone of Mount St. Helens should not be alarmed to witness a low-flying helicopter with trailing equipment making repeated passes over the area this week. The project will largely be conducted over remote terrain in the crater and on the flanks of the volcano. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 7, 2011

Two new USGS publications explain to scientists and the general public what to expect starting later this month as the historic removal of two dams from Washington’s Elwha River begins what is hoped to be a full ecosystem restoration.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 31, 2011

Restoration of the Elwha River, including the start of the Nation’s largest dam removal to date, is the backdrop for the Elwha River Science Symposium, sponsored by the Elwha Research Consortium and held at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash. on September 15 and16, 2011.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 31, 2011

Climbers and hikers on the cone of Mount St. Helens should not be alarmed to witness a low-flying helicopter with trailing equipment making repeated passes over the area this week. The project will largely be conducted over remote terrain in the crater and on the flanks of the volcano. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 25, 2011

 The USGS on Aug. 26-27, 2011 will conduct its final beach erosion survey of the Elwha River delta before a historic dam removal begins upstream in September, in line with its ongoing study of the dams' effects on the ecosystem.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 11, 2011

Science papers, posters, and other types of information used to inform and update Klamath Basin public and private sector stakeholders at the 2010 Klamath Basic Science Conference have been published by the USGS in an Open File Report that is now available online.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 4, 2011

Scuba divers from the USGS and the Environmental Protection Agency are exploring and cataloging marine life at the mouth of Washington’s Elwha River. The underwater survey is taking place downstream of the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams, which are being removed over the next three years starting this September. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 22, 2011

For the fourth year in a row, the USGS is working side by side with Coast Salish tribal peoples, monitoring the ecosystem health of the Salish Sea during their annual Tribal Canoe Journey. The USGS and Coast Salish canoe families are deploying YSI® scientific instruments called, "sondes" on 5 of the more than 100 canoes participating in the Journey.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 14, 2011

Restoration of the Elwha River, including the start of the Nation’s largest dam removal to date, is the backdrop for the Elwha River Science Symposium, to be held at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash., this September 15-16, 2011.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 12, 2011

Knowing that the U.S. west coast was battered during the winter before last by a climatic pattern expected more often in the future, scientists have now pieced together a San Diego-to-Seattle assessment of the damage wrought by that winter's extreme waves and higher-than-usual water levels. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 1, 2011

A newly developed computer model simulates how groundwater flows in the Chambers-Clover Creek aquifer system and contributes to an improved understanding of water resources in the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed, 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