Northwest Fisheries Science Center


Recent Top Stories

Deepwater Horizon Study: Unexpected Results
 Posted: October 11, 2018

A new analysis of data on key Gulf of Mexico fish, shrimp, and crab species before and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill found little sign of any long-term disruptions in abundance, a result that runs counter to food web models and laboratory studies on oil toxicology. This may be a "false negative" due to the nature of the dataset used in the analysis, as studies of individual animals after oil spills have shown that lasting impacts do occur.   more...


New Lab Unlocks Opportunities for Future Scientists
 Posted: October 4, 2018

For many students from high-poverty communities, becoming a scientist can seem like an impossible dream. Ocean Discovery Institute's new science education lab is bringing new opportunities to underserved youth in one San Diego community, forging a path for other communities to follow.   more...


Species Diversity and the "Portfolio Effect"
 Posted: October 3, 2018

Which is more important for a healthy marine ecosystem, the diversity of species in a single spot or the distribution of species across a large area? NOAA's NWFSC and the University of Washington teamed up to find out, and their results have just been published. This work will help fishery managers gauge ecosystem health and better understand the effects of species diversity on fishing "portfolios" and income in the west coast groundfish fishery.   more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Help Save the Puget Sound Coho
 Posted: October 3, 2018

Coho salmon are dying from toxic stormwater when they return to Puget Sound. Urban runoff from rooftops, roads, and other man-made surfaces is poisonous to coho, but there are things you can do to help! Watch informative videos and learn how you can become a citizen scientist by contributing to an interactive map.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


Warm Water Means Hungry Forage Fish
 Posted: September 25, 2018

Forage fish such as anchovy and sardines have been forced to eat an energy-poor, low-nutrition diet due to the unusually warm temperatures across the Pacific Ocean in recent years. Instead of their preferred diet of plankton, the fish have been consuming jellies and other "junk food," leaving them smaller and in poorer body condition. This in turn makes these fish less nutritious to the seabirds, marine mammals, and other organisms -- including humans -- that feed on them.   more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Testing a New Sea Drone for HABs Forecasting
 Posted: September 24, 2018

A new autonomous surface/underwater vehicle, the Submaran S10, is being deployed on a test mission to sample seawater for harmful algal bloom cells and toxins. This wind- and solar-powered vessel increases our capacity to sample the Juan de Fuca Eddy, one of the known initiation sites for HABs off the Washington coast, and contributes to the NOAA Pacific Northwest HABs Bulletin, a forecast system that supports the management of shellfisheries, clamming beaches, and human health.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


salmon mural
Salmon Mural Unveiling
 Posted: September 14, 2018

NOAA Fisheries' West Coast Region has been working with a local youth group, Lake City Young Leaders, to create a salmon mural in Lake City. All are welcome to join the Lake City community on Thursday, September 20, from 5-7 pm to celebrate Puget Sound and its salmon.


DTAGs Help Us Study Killer Whales at Night
 Posted: September 7, 2018

Researchers from NOAA Fisheries will soon begin studying the nighttime behavior of Southern Resident killer whales using digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs), which attach to the whales with suction cups. The DTAGs will help us better understand how much time the whales spend foraging and their use of sound, and will inform policies that might better protect the whales from vessel noise. DTAGs usually remain on the whales for one or two days before falling off on their own.   more...


Southern Resident killer whale updates
 Posted: August 20, 2018

Biologists are responding to an emaciated and ailing three year-old killer whale, J50 (also known as Scarlet), of the critically endangered Southern Resident population. Responders from NOAA Fisheries and partner organizations are working together to explore options and treatment. J35, an adult female (also known as Tahlequah), who carried her dead calf for over two weeks, is also being monitored.   more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Robin Waples awarded 2018 Molecular Ecology Prize
 Posted: August 14, 2018

The 2018 Molecular Ecology prize has been awarded to Robin Waples for his work on conservation biology and management, as the leading expert on approaches for using molecular markers to estimate and understand effective population size in natural populations and use of time series analyses. His studies have made important contributions to understanding fisheries populations and advanced the fields of conservation and evolutionary ecology.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


Safer boats for seabirds
 Posted: July 23, 2018

Scientists and industry partners helped design solutions to the problem of seabirds striking net cables on catcher-processor vessels in fisheries along the U.S. West Coast and Alaska. Five potential solutions are being voluntarily tested by such vessels, potentially saving the lives of endangered albatross and other seabirds. The measures are described in a new NOAA Technical Memorandum.   more...


Saildrone launch begins test to improve West Coast fisheries surveys
 Posted: June 27, 2018

Two autonomous Saildrones launched from Neah Bay, Wash., Tuesday on a summer-long partnership between Saildrone Inc., NOAA Fisheries and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to find out whether the wind and solar-powered vehicles can improve the efficiency and accuracy of fisheries surveys off the West Coast.   more...


Saildrones join NOAA fleet for experimental fisheries surveys
 Posted: June 26, 2018

NOAA Fisheries' two West Coast Science laboratories are joining forces with the Alameda, Calif., company Saildrone Inc. to test the first use of autonomous, wind and solar-powered vehicles to gather essential data on West Coast fish populations, including commercially valuable species such as hake, sardine, and anchovy.   more...


Salmon smolts in the Snake River. Mike Peterson/Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Less Error, Better Forecasts
 Posted: June 22, 2018

A new technical memorandum describes a statistical framework for modeling population changes in Chinook salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. This integrated population model provides a way for fish biologists, managers, and industry to make better-informed decisions about fisheries management by providing more accurate estimates of future populations and their risks of extinction.   more...


New NOAA plan adopts ecosystem management principles
 Posted: June 18, 2018

NOAA Fisheries' NWFSC, together with the West Coast Region and Southwest Fisheries Science Center released a new blueprint for how the agency will put ecosystem-based management principles into practice on the West Coast.   more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site New book on ocean ecology of Pacific salmon and trout
 Posted: May 1, 2018

NOAA Fisheries scientists from the Alaska, Northwest, and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers co-authored a new book summarizing the published research on ocean ecology of 6 species of Pacific salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout. The book, published by the American Fisheries Society, represents an unprecedented collaboration by American, Canadian, Russian, Korean, and Japanese scientists.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


Killer whale genetics raise inbreeding questions
 Posted: April 18, 2018

A new genetic analysis of Southern Resident killer whales found that two male whales fathered more than half of the calves born since 1990 that scientists have samples from, a sign of inbreeding in the small killer whale population that frequents Washington's Salish Sea and Puget Sound. The analysis by lead author Mike Ford was published this week in the journal Animal Conservation.   more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Washington Shellfish Week
 Posted: April 13, 2018

Join us in celebrating all things shellfish during Washington Shellfish Week from April 15- April 21, 2018. Events are scheduled throughout the week and are open to the public. Activities include Washington Sea Grant's shellfish trail walks, the Hama Hama Oyster Rama, the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival, shellfish dining specials at Anthony's Restaurants and Picked Fish, beach-walks and workshops with Harbor WildWatch, a shellfish exhibit at the Puget Sound Estuarium, and much more.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Marine Science Day at Hatfield Marine Science Center
 Posted: April 12, 2018

Meet scientists from our observer program during Marine Science Day at the Hatfield Marine Science Center this Saturday, April 14 in Newport, Oregon. Join tours, meet scientists, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the research, education, and outreach in marine sciences that makes this marine laboratory unique in the Pacific Northwest. The event is free and open to the public.   The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site more...


scientist and captain holding rockfish on a cooperative research vessel
Citizen Science Day is April 14
 Posted: April 12, 2018

Each year, citizen scientists volunteer more than 500,000 hours to over 40 projects involving NOAA and our partners. In the Pacific Northwest, charter boat captains and 100 volunteer anglers collected 100 rare rockfish in the Puget Sound from 2014-2016. Our genetic analyses from these fishing trips provided new information and contributed to delisting of canary rockfish. Currently, citizen scientists help us monitor Puget Sound's waters and provide early warning of harmful algal blooms in order to minimize human health risks and economic losses to fisheries. Thank you, citizen scientists!


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