Despite hundreds of millions of dollars invested annually to protect and recover declining fish populations in the Northwest, many fundamental questions regarding our region’s wild fish resources remain unanswered.
Existing assumptions have too often been made in lieu of empirical study. Testing those assumptions drives Wild Fish Conservancy’s research and monitoring program.
We conduct research and monitoring projects in rivers, on lakes, and in near-shore marine habitats, at sites heavily impacted by human activity and in pristine areas untouched by development. We document the abundance and diversity of targeted species, their behavioral patterns, and geographic distribution. We study salmon spawning activity, fish passage at road crossings, water diversions, and agricultural pump facilities, and interactions between wild and hatchery fish.
WFC ground truthed and corrected water type classifications in approx. 90 mi of streams that drain the Gig Harbor Peninsula. Additionally, WFC filled critical data gaps on ESA-listed fish species composition and distribution via field observations and through the use of environmental DNA (eDNA).