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: 263
Date published: January 12, 2004
Status: Completed

Water Resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation

Future increases in population and development of the Tulalip Indian Reservation and neighboring areas would lead to increased pumping of ground water both on and off the Reservation. Increased pumpage in coastal and inland wells may decrease baseflows of streams and could affect fish-rearing operations in the Tulalip Creek watershed.

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 11, 2004
Status: Completed

Puyallup Streamflow Trends

Covering about 28 square miles along the lower reaches of the Puyallup River in Pierce County, the Puyallup Indian Reservation is located in the lowest part of the basin. For this reason, all water-related activities in the basin affect the Puyallup Tribe of Indians' water resources and fish.

Because of their important links to the Puyallup River, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians want to...

Contacts: Mark Mastin
Date published: January 10, 2004
Status: Completed

Satus Creek

After irrigating croplands, water returned to creeks and rivers in the Yakima River Basin can contribute compounds and materials that affect the quality of habitat. On lands of the Yakama Nation, Satus Creek receives water from the North Drain that brings with it sediment, nutrients, bacteria, and pesticides, degrading the aquatic habitat and posing a barrier for endangered fish in the creek...

Date published: January 8, 2004
Status: Completed

Urban Pesticide

Salmon and other aquatic life in the Puget Sound Basin need a healthy habitat to survive and to recover from historical declines, both in urban and agricultural settings. Yet, USGS studies in 1997 and 1998 found that more pesticides were found in urban streams than in agricultural streams, and that 9 out of 10 samples from urban streams had concentrations of insecticides exceeding levels...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 7, 2004
Status: Completed

Puget Parks

Snow and ice are major sources of water for plants and animals in the parks and forests of the Puget Sound Basin, including Olympic, North Cascades, and Mt. Rainier National Parks, and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie and Olympic National Forests. In the North Cascades National Park alone, there are more than 300 small glaciers that feed 245 mountain lakes and a myriad of streams, wetlands, and aquifers....

Date published: January 6, 2004
Status: Completed

GW/SW Interactions

Knowing the interactions of ground water and river water can help reduce the fluctuation of water supplies in alluvial (sediment-deposit) river basins.

To develop general principles of these interactions in order to identify and analyze them, the USGS is reviewing the results of the numerous studies of these interactions in Pacific Northwest basins. The review will describe common...

Date published: January 6, 2004
Status: Completed

Columbia Basin GWMA

More than 80 percent of drinking water in the mid-Columbia Basin comes from ground water. In Adams, Franklin, and Grant Counties, nitrate concentrations in water from about 20 percent of all drinking-water wells exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant level for nitrate. The three counties jointly formed the Columbia Basin Ground Water Management Area (GWMA) in...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 5, 2004
Status: Completed

Geomorphic Mapping, Dosewallips River

Located on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, the Dosewallips River drains about 100 square miles into Dabob Bay, an arm of Hood Canal. The Dosewallips is home to two species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act: Puget Sound chinook and Hood Canal summer chum.

To help the Port Gamble S'Klallam tribe protect and enhance the aquatic habitat of the...

Contacts: Joseph Jones
Date published: January 4, 2004
Status: Completed

GW Recharge

Hydrologists increasingly rely on computer watershed models to estimate groundwater recharge from precipitation on a regional scale. The model parameters used in simulations of recharge are various climatic, hydrologic, and physical characteristics of a watershed or stream basin. To date, the watershed models have not been evaluated to determine which model parameters are the dominant controls...

Date published: January 3, 2004
Status: Completed

Lake Whatcom

Lake Whatcom, a large, natural lake in Whatcom County, is a source of drinking water for about 86,000 in the Bellingham area and a place for recreation. Elevated levels of mercury have been found in fish and sediment sampled from the lake. Possible sources of the mercury include atmospheric deposition, tributary discharges, landfills, dumpsites, and local mining operations.

To serve the...

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Columbia Basin Irrigation

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), in its 2000 Biological Opinion for the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project (CBIP) in eastern Washington, asked for a determination of whether pesticides are present in irrigation return flows at levels that may harm or adversely affect salmon and steelhead species listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. As the major resource manager...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: January 6, 2003
Status: Completed

Puget Hazards

Nationally, the USGS monitors and assesses geologic and hydrologic natural hazards. In the Puget Sound Basin, common hazards that also can cause damage include earthquakes and floods. Other hazards in the region that cause less damage or happen less frequently include landslides, debris flows, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

Although much is known about these natural hazards,...

Contacts: Joseph Jones
Filter Total Items: 843
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Year Published: 2012

A multi-year analysis of spillway survival for juvenile salmonids as a function of spill bay operations at McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2004-09

We analyzed 6 years (2004-09) of passage and survival data collected at McNary Dam to examine how spill bay operations affect survival of juvenile salmonids passing through the spillway at McNary Dam. We also examined the relations between spill bay operations and survival through the juvenile fish bypass in an attempt to determine if survival...

Adams, Noah S.; Hansel, Hal C.; Perry, Russell W.; Evans, Scott D.
A multi-year analysis of spillway survival for juvenile salmonids as a function of spill bay operations at McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2004-09; 2012; OFR; 2012-1125; Adams, Noah S.; Hansel, Hal C.; Perry, Russell W.; Evans, Scott D.

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Year Published: 2012

A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09

Passage and survival data for yearling and subyearling Chinook salmon and juvenile steelhead were collected at McNary Dam between 2006 and 2009. These data have provided critical information for resource managers to implement structural and operational changes designed to improve the survival of juvenile salmonids as they migrate past the dam....

Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.
A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09; 2012; OFR; 2012-1119; Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.

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Year Published: 2012

A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids, including sockeye salmon, in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09

Passage and survival data were collected at McNary Dam between 2006 and 2009. These data have provided critical information for resource managers to implement structural and operational changes designed to improve the survival of juvenile salmonids as they migrate past the dam. Much of the valuable information collected at McNary Dam was in the...

Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.
A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids, including sockeye salmon, in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09; 2012; OFR; 2012-1120; Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.

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Year Published: 2012

Monitoring of stream restoration habitat on the main stem of the Methow River, Washington, during the pre-treatment phase (October 2008-May 2012) with a progress report for activities from March 2011 to November 2011

Introduction The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) received a request from the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to provide monitoring and an evaluation of the effectiveness of habitat actions that Reclamation plans to implement in the Upper Columbia River basin, which includes the Methow River. This monitoring and evaluation program is to partially...

Tibbits, Wesley T.; Martens, Kyle D.; Connolly, Patrick J.

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Year Published: 2012

An annotated bibliography for lamprey habitat in the White Salmon River, Washington

The October 2011 decommissioning of Condit Dam on the White Salmon River at river kilometer (rkm) 5.3 removed a significant fish passage barrier from the White Salmon River basin for the first time in nearly a century. This affords an opportunity to regain a potentially important drainage basin for Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus)...

Allen, M. Brady
An annotated bibliography for lamprey habitat in the White Salmon River, Washington; 2012; OFR; 2012-1086; Allen, M. Brady

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Year Published: 2012

The Columbia River Research Laboratory

The mission of the Columbia River Research Laboratory is to serve the public by providing scientific information to support the stewardship of our Nation's fish and aquatic resources, with emphasis on the Columbia River basin. As a part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Western Fisheries Research Center, we conduct objective, relevant research...

Waste, Steve; Reagan, Rachel
The Columbia River Research Laboratory; 2012; FS; 2012-3022; Waste, Steve ; Reagan, Rachel

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Year Published: 2012

Western Fisheries Research Center--Forage fish studies in Puget Sound

Researchers at the Western Fisheries Research Center are working with other U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Centers to better understand the interconnected roles of forage fishes throughout the ecosystem of Puget Sound, Washington. Support for these studies primarily is from the USGS Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound (CHIPS) program, which supports...

Liedtke, Theresa L.
Western Fisheries Research Center--Forage fish studies in Puget Sound; 2012; FS; 2012-3023; Liedtke, Theresa L.

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Year Published: 2012

Behavior and passage of juvenile salmonids during the evaluation of a behavioral guidance structure at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington, 2011

Executive Summary A radiotelemetry evaluation was conducted during April–October 2011 to describe movement patterns, forebay behavior, and passage of juvenile steelhead, coho salmon, and Chinook salmon at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington. The primary focus of the study was to describe fish behavior near a behavioral guidance structure (BGS) and...

Kock, Tobias J.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Ekstrom, Brian K.; Tomka, Ryan G.; Rondorf, Dennis W.
Behavior and passage of juvenile salmonids during the evaluation of a behavioral guidance structure at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington, 2011; 2012; OFR; 2012-1030; Kock, Tobias J.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Ekstrom, Brian K.; Tomka, Ryan G.; Rondorf, Dennis W.

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Year Published: 2012

A riverscape perspective of Pacific salmonids and aquatic habitats prior to large-scale dam removal in the Elwha River, Washington, USA

 Dam removal has been increasingly proposed as a river restoration technique. In 2011, two large hydroelectric dams will be removed from Washington State’s Elwha River. Ten anadromous fish populations are expected to recolonise historical habitats after dam removal. A key to understanding watershed recolonisation is the collection of...

Brenkman, S.J.; Duda, J.J.; Torgersen, C.E.; Welty, E.; Pess, G.R.; Peters, R.; McHenry, M.L.

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Year Published: 2012

Validation of a coupled wave-flow model in a high-energy setting: the mouth of the Columbia River

 A monthlong time series of wave, current, salinity, and suspended-sediment measurements was made at five sites on a transect across the Mouth of Columbia River (MCR). These data were used to calibrate and evaluate the performance of a coupled hydrodynamic and wave model for the MCR based on the Delft3D modeling system. The MCR is a dynamic...

Elias, Edwin P.L.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; van der Westhuysen, André J.

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Year Published: 2011

Assessment of topographic and drainage network controls on debris-flow travel distance along the west coast of the United States

To better understand controls on debris-flow entrainment and travel distance, we examined topographic and drainage network characteristics of initiation locations in two separate debris-flow prone areas located 700 km apart along the west coast of the U.S. One area was located in northern California, the other in southern Oregon. In both areas,...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Reid, Mark E.; Brien, Dainne L.; Michael, John A.
Assessment of topographic and drainage network controls on debris-flow travel distance along the west coast of the United States; 2011; Article; Journal; Italian Journal of Engineering Geology and Environment; 5th International Conference on Debris-Flow Hazards "Mitigation, Mechanics, Prediction and Assessment"; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Reid, Mark E.; Brien, Dainne L.; Michael, John A.

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Year Published: 2011

Behavior and movement of formerly landlocked juvenile coho salmon after release into the free-flowing Cowlitz River, Washington

Formerly landlocked Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) juveniles (age 2) were monitored following release into the free-flowing Cowlitz River to determine if they remained in the river or resumed seaward migration. Juvenile Coho Salmon were tagged with a radio transmitter (30 fish) or Floy tag (1050 fish) and their behavior was monitored in the...

Kock, Tobias J.; Henning, Julie A.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Royer, Ida M.; Ekstrom, Brian K.; Rondorf, Dennis W.
Behavior and movement of formerly landlocked juvenile coho salmon after release into the free-flowing Cowlitz River, Washington; 2011; Article; Journal; Northwestern Naturalist; Kock, Tobias J.; Henning, Julie A.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Royer, Ida M.; Ekstrom, Brian K.; Rondorf, Dennis W.

Filter Total Items: 884
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

August 8, 2015

A1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: A1 East Transect; Depth: 8.3 Meters (27.1 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.8 Kilometers (1.1 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.5855312; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Previous small boulders appear to be buried. Seaweeds are very

August 7, 2015

H1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: H1 East Transect; Depth: 5.5 Meters (Feet 18.2); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.1479177,-123.53472865; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate is still

August 7, 2015

C2 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: C2 East Transect; Depth: 16.3 Meters (Feet 53.4); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.147841,-123.57596074; Site Description: One of our deepest sites. Substrate is all muddy sand. Seaweed is absent. Some woody debris is seen (0:39 seconds). Featherduster tubeworms, mainly

August 7, 2015

H1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: H1 West Transect; Depth: 5.7 Meters (Feet 18.6); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14803012,-123.53535558; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate is still

August 7, 2015

C2 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: C2 West Transect; Depth: 16.6 Meters (Feet 54.5); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.5 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.147841,-123.57663268; Site Description: One of our deepest sites. Substrate is all muddy sand. Seaweed is absent. Lots of woody debris is present (0:42, 0:44, 0:53 seconds). Featherduster

August 6, 2015

GP2 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Control Site: GP2 East Transect; Depth: 13.2 Meters (43.2 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 18.8 Kilometers (11.7 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.12781102,-123.31645664; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Substrate is mainly a gravel sand mixture. A few large boulders are located off

August 6, 2015

GP1 West Transect – 2015

Permanent Control Site: GP1 West Transect; Depth: 8.0 Meters (26.1 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 4 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31605203; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding

Filter Total Items: 388
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.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 1, 2011

An invasive species of aquatic snail that is difficult to control and can take over habitats of native species has been detected in a stream that flows into Lake Washington, according to 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