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Watershed Restoration Science on the West Coast

The Watershed Program works to understand links between watershed processes, habitat restoration, and recovery of salmon and other fish species.

Elwha River photo credit john mcmillan nwfsc.jpg

The Watershed Program studies the ecology of freshwater and estuarine ecosystems to guide the management and restoration of salmon and other aquatic species. We research how watershed processes and habitat restoration influence salmon populations, and develop tools for restoration planning and monitoring. Our scientists provide technical support to fisheries managers and policymakers, and collaborate with other agencies, tribes, and educational institutions on watershed restoration science and outreach.

Primary Research Areas

Ecosystem Processes

We strive to understand the cause-effect links between landscape processes, habitats, and fish, with an emphasis on habitat restoration planning and providing relevant information to fisheries managers. 

Habitat Restoration

We provide tools to improve restoration and monitoring practices to help accelerate recovery of Pacific salmon and steelhead listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.


George Pess, Watershed Program Manager