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NOAA Fisheries Personnel Default Profile

Don A. Larsen, Ph.D.

Research Fish Biologist
Environmental Physiology Program
Office: (206) 860-3462

Don A. Larsen, Ph.D.

Research Fish Biologist


Don Larsen received his B.A. in biology from the University of Colorado, his M.S. in biology from Western Washington University and his Ph.D. in fisheries from the University of Washington. He has worked at the NWFSC in the Integrative Fish Biology Program of the REUT Division since 1990, first as a laboratory technician and more recently as a fisheries biologist. Don's basic research interests have focused on understanding physiological and endocrine mechanisms controlling smoltification, reproduction and growth of salmonid fishes. His applied studies have focused on characterizing the physiology of hatchery and wild salmonids with the objective to develop protocols for hatcheries that will allow for rearing fish with similar morphological, physiological and life-history attributes to their wild cohorts.

Current Research

Don is currently working with Drs. Brian Beckman and Walt Dickhoff as Project Leader of a Bonneville Power Administration-sponsored project entitled: Growth Rate Modulation in Spring Chinook Salmon Supplementation. This project represents a continuation of a body of work started in 1990 that characterizes the physiology of hatchery and wild spring chinook salmon in the Yakima River. In the most recent iteration of these studies, Don is conducting a growth rate modulation experiment at the Cle Elum supplementation hatchery on the Yakima River. The experiment is designed to develop rearing protocols to control uncharacteristically high rates of precocious male maturation in the hatchery population and to characterize natural levels of precocious male maturation in the wild stock. Don is also collaborating with Drs. Andrew Dittman and Mary Moser on a study designed to characterize homing to remote acclimation sites and instream movement of adult hatchery supplemented and wild spring chinook salmon in the Yakima River using GPS and radio telemetry technology.