Fisheries Resources
Pacific Region
allocation = distribution, particularly of a limited resource; for example, a fisheries allocation would mean determining who gets to keep how many of which kind of fish.

anadromous = migrating up rivers from the sea to breed in freshwater; for example, salmon and steelhead are anadromous.

aquatic nuisance species = non-native species that threaten the diversity or abundance of native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural or recreational activities dependent on such waters.

behavioral physiology = the science of how an animal's observable activities (behavior) affect and are affected by the functioning of its body; for example, studying how much energy it takes for a fish to swim from the ocean to its freshwater home or studying what kinds of smells or water temperatures a fish will avoid.

biochemistry = the chemistry of biological processes or substances; for example, determining how much fat, fiber, protein, and/or energy is contained in a fish's food or studying what kind of poison caused a fish kill.

biostatistics = numerical analysis of biological data; for example, analyzing the probability that a young fish will survive to adulthood or estimating how much a given size of fish will weigh.

brood stock = the adult fish used (for example, in a hatchery) to produce the next generation of fish.

captive propagation = the artificial breeding of adults in other than their natural environment; for example, producing fish in hatcheries instead of streams or producing condors in a zoo instead of in the wild. It is usually done because the wild environment is too unsafe to produce enough young to replace the remaining adults until the wild habitat is repaired or other threats to survival in the wild are removed.

chemistry = the science of composition, structure, properties, and reactions of substances.

conservation = controlled use and systematic protection of natural resources (fish, wildlife, and their habitats).

conservation genetics = the study and practice of protecting the genes (basic units of heredity) and their natural variability and relative balance.

de-listing (or ESA de-listing) = when the protective efforts taken under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) have helped a threatened or endangered species so much that it is no longer deemed in danger of extinction, it is removed ("de-listed") from the endangered species list.

down-listing (or ESA down-listing) = when a species changes status from endangered to threatened on the endangered species list (maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife Service); this usually happens when recovery efforts have worked well enough for the endangered species to increase in number and/or some of the threats to the species (e.g., pollution) have been decreased.

ecosystem = the complex of a community of organisms and their environment.

endangered = in danger of extinction throughout all or a large portion of where a species lives.

Endangered Species Act (ESA) = federal law passed by Congress in 1973 to provide a way to conserve the ecosystems upon which threatened or endangered species depend; many States have endangered species protection laws as well.

environmental diseases = diseases caused by environmental conditions beyond the normal range; for example, "gas bubble" disease which is caused by having too much nitrogen dissolved in the water (e.g., in the deep, churning waters immediately below dams).

epidemiology = the branch of medicine that studies diseases that affect many individuals at the same time (epidemics, outbreaks); for example, sometimes in a hatchery with lots of fish in the same place at the same time, a disease will spread very quickly – the study of such a disease, how it spreads, and how to control it would be an example of epidemiology.

estuary = where the river meets the sea, a place where freshwater mixes with saltwater; thus "estuarine" means occurring in an estuary.

fish culture = breeding, rearing, and/or growing fish in other than their natural environment (e.g., in hatcheries or other aquaculture facilities). Fish culture may be done, as in many US Fish and Wildlife Service hatcheries, to help the fish survive until their wild habitat is repaired or other threats to their survival in the wild are removed. In other cases, fish culture may be done to produce food or, if it does not hurt wild fish, to support or enhance recreational or commercial fishing.

fish screens = mechanical devices of various designs (small or large mesh, flat or cylindrical, stationary or moving, etc.) that allow water to pass into or out of a water body, while preventing fish from passing the same point. For example, a small mesh, cylindrical, rotating screen may be placed on an irrigation diversion to allow water to move to the fields, but prevent the young of an endangered salmon species from being swept from their stream habitat out into those same fields.

flow augmentation = allowing more water to stay in the river and flow downstream to help the fish survive better; for example, by making it easier for them to swim to the ocean.

freshwater = water without salt in it; like streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes – not like the ocean.

genetics = the study of genes, the basic unit of heredity.

habitat = the environment in which a species lives and grows.

Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) = a voluntary agreement, authorized under the Endangered Species Act, between a non-federal entity (e.g., a State agency, private citizen, or corporation) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that an activity by that non-federal entity does not jeopardize the continued existence or recovery in the wild of a threatened or endangered species. Typically, an HCP is for a specific land use activity, such as a housing development or a logging activity, on private lands that may harm the threatened or endangered species.

histology = the study of the microscopic structure of plant and animal tissue.

hydro-power = energy generated by the movement of water; e.g., electricity generated by power plants within the dams along the Columbia River and many other river systems.

ichthyology = the study of fishes, including their morphology (structure and form) and their taxonomy (classification, how and what they are named).

infectious diseases = diseases caused by pathogens (i.e., organisms such as parasites, bacteria, or viruses). Such diseases may be particularly important when the resistance of a fish is lowered – for example, when a fish is stressed or malnourished

integrated approach = incorporating the importance of a whole system and the interdependence of its parts; for example, an "integrated approach" to hatchery management will focus not only on how to raise fish at the actual facility, but also on how, when, and where they will be released and on what the effects of those fish will be on the whole ecosystem to which they are released

inter-jurisdictional = involving more than one political or management unit, thus an "inter-jurisdictional" fish population is one whose management and allocation of use are the collective responsibility of two or more States, Tribes, and/or other Nations. For example, during their lifetimes, salmon may move from the waters of Idaho, through Washington and Oregon, and then into the waters of Canada, Alaska, or even Russia before it returns to Idaho; salmon are thus "inter-jurisdictional" species.

invasive species = a non-native species whose introduction does or has the potential to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

listing (or ESA-listing) = once the US Fish and Wildlife Service has determined, based on the best scientific or commercial information available, whether a species is threatened or endangered, the name of that plant or animal is put on a list that is published for all to see so that they can be aware of the need to protect it; the process of making that decision and publishing the list is referred to as "listing" or "ESA-listing."

marking = making a visible indication on the fish to help identify its source; for example, cutting off the small fleshy fin (the adipose fin) on the back of a salmon just in front of its tail in order to be able to tell that it was produced in a hatchery rather than in the wild [note: this does not hurt the fish and is not known to affect its ability to survive].

microbiology = the study of minute (microscopic) life forms; for example, bacteria and viruses.

migration = the movement of fish and other organisms passing from one habitat to another to find more hospitable environmental conditions, to meet seasonal habitat or foraging needs, or to fulfill life cycle requirements. For example, salmon migrate from the ocean to streams to breed, and their young migrate from streams to ocean to grow and mature.

mitigation = to prevent, minimize, or "make up for" the adverse impacts of an action; for example, since dams hurt salmon by interrupting their movement up and down the river and by killing many as they pass through the dam, these adverse impacts are mitigated by such things as putting fish ladders on the dams, making sure enough water goes over or around the dam that fish can move more freely, and/or by replacing some of that loss by raising some fish in a hatchery to release to the wild until the impacts of the dam are removed.

native = with respect to a particular ecosystem, a species that, other than as a result of a human introduction, has historically and/or currently occurs in that ecosystem (natural, endemic).

non-native = with respect to a particular ecosystem, any species, its seeds or other biological material capable of propagating a species, that is not native to that ecosystem (alien, exotic, introduced).

nursery habitat = where young fish find food, cover, shelter, and environmental conditions sufficient to grow up safely; for example, while adult salmon may use the main channel of a river to swim upstream and lay their eggs, young salmon cannot swim as hard and may need different food sources and temperature conditions than adults – thus, small side channels and deep pools with lots of wood in them may be important ‘nursery habitat' and need to be protected.

nutrition = the process by which living organisms absorb food and use it to grow.

nutritional diseases = diseases caused by an imbalance in the foods consumed by a fish (e.g., shortage of an essential vitamin).

pathogen = the organism that causes disease; for example, bacteria, virus, or fungus.

pathology = the branch of medicine that studies the nature of disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences.

physiology = the biological science of basic life functions and processes; for example, studying the way a fish digests its food or how a wound heals.

rearing = caring for an organism during the early stages of life; thus, "rearing habitat" = where a young fish grows up, and "rearing flows" = water moving downstream at a rate that is sufficient to provide a home for the young fish but not so strong that it washes it downstream.

recovery = the process by which the decline of an endangered or threatened species is stopped or reversed, and the threats neutralized so that its survival in the wild can be ensured.

resident fish = fish that do not migrate out to the ocean, but remain in freshwater; for example, rainbow trout are resident fish, steelhead are anadromous; other resident fish would include species like shiners and dace that do not go to sea.

restoration = bringing a thing back to a condition more like its original condition; in fisheries, restoration most often refers to restoring a fish population and its habitat to a point where it not only can sustain itself, but will also provide enough fish to support a fishery.

riparian = relating to the bank of a natural body of water; for example, a stream bank and its associated vegetation are its riparian zone and together help keep the fish habitat healthy by providing shade and cover and by keeping sediment and other pollution out of the water.

spawning = releasing reproductive products (egg and sperm) to produce offspring; thus "spawning habitat" is where fish build their nests, lay their eggs, and begin the next generation.

threatened = likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future.

toxicology = the study of the nature, effects, and detection of poisons and the treatment of poisoning.

trust resource = when referring to "tribal trust resources," the term applies to rights, including lands, natural resources, and other assets, as reserved or granted in treaties, agreements, executive orders, and congressional statutes. More generally in the area of inter-jurisdictional fisheries, we use the term "trust resource" to include those fisheries, such as some for anadromous fish, for which we have particular or shared responsibilities under various other authorities.

watershed = the entire area of land that drains into a given water body; for example, the Columbia River watershed extends from its mouth at the Pacific Ocean all the way up into Montana, Idaho and all of the other lands whose rivers drain into the Columbia River.

Last updated: January 27, 2014

Pacific Region Fisheries Resources
Pacific Region Home

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior  |  | No Fear Act | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  | Accessibility  | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer  | FOIA