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: 265
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
Date published: January 5, 2003
Status: Completed

Methow River Basin

The Methow River Basin, located in North Central Washington in Okanogan County, is well known for its natural beauty, wildlife, outdoor recreation, and rural lifestyle. The Methow River and its tributaries are home to upper Columbia summer steelhead and spring Chinook salmon, which are both listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and bull trout, which is listed as...

Date published: January 3, 2003
Status: Completed

Groundwater Pesticide

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing a rule requiring States to have a formal plan for the pesticides atrazine, simazine, alachlor, metolachlor, and other pesticides of concern in order to continue using them.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), the lead agency for a pesticide plan for Washington, will need an assessment of ground-water...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: January 2, 2003
Status: Completed

Island County

Island County consists of two major islands, Whidbey and Camano, and lies in northern Puget Sound, north of Seattle. Whidbey Island has an area of about 165 square miles and Camano Island an area of about 45 square miles, for a total area of about 210 square miles. Ground water is the primary source of water on the islands, and the ground-water system is fairly well understood, due in part to...

Date published: January 1, 2003
Status: Completed

SUBASE Bangor

SUBASE Bangor is a 6,785 acre Navy installation located on Hood Canal in Kitsap County, Washington. Currently it serves as the home port to eight Ohio-class TRIDENT missile submarines, but historically the site served as a Naval Ammunition Depot. As a result of the historical activities at Bangor, numerous contaminated sites have been identified. Contaminants include ordnance chemicals, trace...

Date published: January 15, 2002
Status: Completed

Sammamish River Basin

Understanding the extent of contaminants in urban rivers is key to assessment of human health risks and the restoration of endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest. This equally true for the Sammamish River Basin in northeast King County, Washington, where a new wastewater treatment plant is being considered by King County. Information is needed about the water quality of the Sammamish River...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 14, 2002
Status: Completed

Dungeness

Located in northwestern Washington State, the Dungeness River and its tributaries drain about 200 square miles, mostly in the Olympic Mountains to the south. After emerging from the mountains, the river flows for about 11 miles northward across an area with a shallow water-table aquifer before emptying into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Water in the Dungeness River and the shallow aquifer are...

Date published: January 12, 2002
Status: Completed

Puyallup River Basin

The Puyallup River Basin in western Washington is drained by the Puyallup River and its main tributaries, the White and Carbon Rivers. The basin supports several salmon runs and hosts a variety of recreational activities. Communities in the basin include Tacoma, Puyallup, Fife, Sumner, Orting, Auburn, and the Puyallup and Muckleshoot Tribes. The types of land use in the basin vary from forests...

Date published: January 11, 2002
Status: Completed

Hydrologic Urban Indicators

Storm water, the rainfall that runs off urban surfaces such as rooftops, pavement, and lawns, can affect streams in a number of ways. As urban development increases, storm water can run quickly into streams, increasing the volume and peak flows and reducing summer flows. Sediment and other contaminants can also be carried into the streams.

The Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE),...

Date published: January 10, 2002
Status: Completed

White River Videography

The quantity and quality of instream habitat is one of many factors affecting aquatic organisms such as anadromous and non-anadromous salmonids. The measurement and assessment of instream habitat has been the focus of many habitat monitoring and restoration projects throughout the State of Washington. On-the-ground habitat monitoring is extremely important for specific variables and specific...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: January 9, 2002
Status: Completed

Tule Lake

In some years, water is scarce in the Klamath Basin of southern Oregon and northern California, and resource managers need critical, accurate water information in order to allocate water for agricultural and natural-resource uses. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has identified one way of saving water for wildlife during dry years through reducing irrigation for crops grown on 17,000 acres...

Filter Total Items: 747
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Year Published: 2007

Wind River Watershed Restoration: Annual Report April 2005 - March 2006

This report summarizes work completed by U.S. Geological Survey’s Columbia River Research Laboratory (USGS-CRRL) in the Wind River subbasin during the period April 2005 through March 2006 under Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) contract 22095. During this period, we collected temperature, flow, and habitat data to characterize habitat...

Jezorek, Ian G.; Connolly, Patrick J.; Charrier, Jodi; Munz, Carrie

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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

During the winter of 2006-07, we radio and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagged, and released 99 juvenile fall Chinook salmon to evaluate over-wintering behavior and dam passage in the lower Snake River, Washington. All fish were released 10 km upstream of Lower Granite Dam at Granite Point in early November, 2006. Fixed radio telemetry...

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

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Year Published: 2007

Wind River watershed restoration: Annual Report April 2004 - March 2005

During 2004, researchers from U.S. Geological Survey’s Columbia River Research Laboratory (USGS-CRRL) collected temperature, flow, and habitat data to characterize physical habitat condition and variation within and among tributaries and mainstem sections in the Wind River subbasin. Juvenile salmonid population surveys were conducted within select...

Connolly, P.J.; Jezorek, I.G.

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Year Published: 2007

Modeling 3-D slope stability of coastal bluffs using 3-D ground-water flow, Southwestern Seattle, Washington

Landslides are a common problem on coastal bluffs throughout the world. Along the coastal bluffs of the Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington, landslides range from small, shallow failures to large, deep-seated landslides. Landslides of all types can pose hazards to human lives and property, but deep-seated landslides are of significant concern...

Brien, Dianne L.; Reid, Mark E.
Modeling 3-D Slope Stability of Coastal Bluffs Using 3-D Ground-Water Flow, Southwestern Seattle, Washington; 2007; SIR; 2007-5092; Brien, Dianne L.; Reid, Mark E.

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Year Published: 2007

Synthesis of juvenile salmonid passage studies at The Dalles Dam volume II: 2001 - 2005

The overall goal of juvenile salmonid research at The Dalles Dam is to provide data to inform decisions on strategies to improve smolt survival rates at the project. Survival improvement strategies address the three primary passage routes at The Dalles Dam -- spillway, sluiceway, and turbines – with the general intent to increase spill and sluice...

Johnson, G.E.; Beeman, J.W.; Duran , I.N.; Puls, A.L.

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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.

Filter Total Items: 866
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

July 22, 2015

C1 East Transect – 2015

Permanent Site: C1 East 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,-123.57294101; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. All seaweeds are absent. Woody debris is present (1:36, 2:20 seconds). Invertebrates are scarce and are almost exclusively the ornate

 Algae samples at Bear Creek
June 23, 2015

A USGS researcher takes algae samples at Bear Creek in Redmond, WA.

A USGS researcher takes algae samples at Bear Creek in Redmond, Washington.

Salmonids are inventoried during the ecosurveys done for the Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA)
June 23, 2015

Salmonid in a Pacific Northwest Stream

Salmonids are inventoried during the ecosurveys done for the Regional Stream Quality Assessment (RSQA)

 Land Remote Sensing Image of Mount St. Helens on May 22, 1983
May 20, 2015

Land Remote Sensing Image of Mount St. Helens on May 22, 1983

Land Remote Sensing Image of Mount St. Helens on May 22, 1983. The volcanic blast on May 18, 1980, devastated more than 150 square miles of forest within a few minutes. In this Landsat false-color images, forest appears as bright red interspersed with patches of logging. Snow appears white, and ash is gray.

 

Before the eruption, Mount St. Helens towered

...
Northern spotted owl perched on a tree branch
May 11, 2015

Spotted owl (Strix occidentalis)

Northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) are mostly non-migratory, long-lived birds whose populations have declined in mature forests of western North America.

May 8, 2015

NAWQA - Studying Water Quality Over Time

Follow a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist as he takes part in the National Water-Quality Assessment Program in the Pacific Northwest. In 1991, the U.S. Congress established the program to develop long-term, nationally consistent information on the quality of the Nation’s streams and ground water, and thereby support scientifically sound decisions for water-quality

Collecting tissues from fish
April 23, 2015

Collecting tissues from fish for testing virus infection

Fish health principle investigators, students, post-docs, and technicians from different research groups work together as a fish processing team on days when large numbers of fish require sampling.  They are collecting multiple tissues from each fish for testing virus infection and host immune response.

February 26, 2015

PubTalk 2/2015 — Undamming Washington's Elwha River

by Amy East USGS Research Geologist

  • Hear about river response to the largest dam removal in history.
  • Causing disturbance as a means of restoration: how well does it work?
  • Will legendary salmon runs return?
Centrifuge Bowl Containing River Suspended Sediment
February 5, 2015

Centrifuge Bowl Containing River Suspended Sediment for Analysis

A U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist holds a centrifuge bowl containing river suspended sediment for analysis of metals and organic chemicals. The sample was collected using a new in-field continuous-flow centrifugation technique to separate and collect suspended sediment from large volumes of water. The sample was collected on the Duwamish River, Washington in cooperation

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Filter Total Items: 377
USGS
March 18, 2010

Vancouver, Wash.—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake 30 years ago Saturday marked the reawakening of Mount St. Helens after 123 years of inactivity and set the stage for the most destructive eruption in U.S. history.

USGS
February 19, 2010

Thirteen native fishers will be released on Saturday, February 20 within the Elwha and Quinault valleys of Olympic National Park, capping a three-year restoration project and bringing the total of reintroduced animals to 90. Seven males and six females will be released.
 

USGS
January 25, 2010

Twelve fishers were released yesterday in Olympic National Park, continuing a three-year effort to reintroduce the animal to Washington State. Eight were released in the Graves Creek drainage of the Quinault valley and four in the Bogachiel valley.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 20, 2009

Native mammals to be released in Olympic National Park. Thanks to a strong team of government and non-government partners, more native fishers will be reintroduced at remote sites within Olympic National Park next week, kicking off the third and final winter of releases.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 4, 2009

Greater sage-grouse populations have declined substantially in many areas in the West, though populations in some locations remain relatively stable, according to a comprehensive publication written by federal, state, and non-governmental organizations. The population assessment is one of numerous sage-grouse topics covered in the 24 chapters released today.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 20, 2009

When Pierce County holds its "Shake 'n Quake" earthquake exercise Wednesday and Thursday, the foundation participants will use is a scenario developed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists here.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 24, 2009

USGS will Grant Universities $5 Million to Beef Up Public Safety Grants totaling $5 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being awarded to 13 universities nationwide to upgrade critical earthquake monitoring networks and increase public safety.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 16, 2009

Levels of chloride, a component of salt, are elevated in many urban streams and groundwater across the northern U.S., according to a new government study. Chloride levels above the recommended federal criteria set to protect aquatic life were found in more than 40 percent of urban streams tested. The study was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 9, 2009

The winter distribution of Pacific brant, a small, dark sea goose, has shifted northward from low-temperate areas such as Mexico to sub-Arctic areas as Alaska's climate has warmed over the last four decades, according to a just-released article in Arctic.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 25, 2009

Two U.S. Geological Survey Cascade Volcano Observatory scientists will be available inside the crater of Mount St. Helens. This will provide a unique opportunity to capture the sights and sounds inside the crater and to learn about their latest findings and research.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 13, 2009

Residents and critical infrastructure in the nation's six highest-risk volcanic areas—including the Northwest region of the United States-- will benefit from increased monitoring and analysis as a result of Recovery Act funds being channeled into volcano monitoring, Secretary Salazar announced today.

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