Meeting water needs of the Nation is an increasing challenge as competition for domestic and industrial use, irrigation, energy production, and the environment grows at a time when the magnitude and frequency of extreme hydrologic events such as floods and droughts is increasing the uncertainty for water managers and creating conflict among different user groups.
The USGS Fisheries Program is developing the tools and science to help water managers evaluate tradeoffs in monetary and non-monetary costs of water allocation decisions, and understand how changes in water quantity, quality, and timing affect fisheries and aquatic resources of concern.
The primary goal of the Elwha River Restoration Project is to restore the once vibrant salmon populations of the river by reintroducing spawning salmon to the upper watershed.
Observations are now available from several diverse settings nationwide to allow synthesis of key physical and ecological processes associated with dam removals.
The USGS uses a suite of state-of-the-art technologies to evaluate new and innovative passage structures and management strategies. Those technologies include large and complex radio and acoustic telemetry projects.
USGS scientists are determining the the effect of flow on mussels and trout and incorporating that information into a decision support system.
Related Publication: Physical and chemical constraints limit the habitat window for an endangered mussel
Our research examines how water flows affect populations, communities, ecosystems, and hydroscapes.
Related Product: Smart River GIS for Improved Decision Making
Understanding the quantity, timing, and quality of water flow and storage required to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems and the human livelihoods and well-being that depend on these ecosystems.
Top Photo: Juvenile coho salmon in a small spring-fed channel in the lower reach of the Elwha River. Photo courtesy of Roger Tabor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.