What We Do

Our staff collaborates with local, state and Tribal partners to conserve, restore, and improve native fish and aquatic resources throughout Oregon and along the Columbia River and all of its tributaries downstream from McNary Dam to the Pacific Ocean. We study wild and hatchery aquatic organisms and their populations, support habitat restoration, and evaluate restoration projects, fish hatchery practices and human impacts. The results of our studies allow land and natural resource managers to make science informed decisions. 

Management and Conservation

The Fish and Wildlife Service maintains 51 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices (FWCOs) across the country that work to restore and maintain fish and other aquatic resources. FWCOs work across habitat types and landownerships and this role is both unique within the Service and among other Federal natural resource agencies. FWCOs work with a broad range of partners, including State and Federal agencies, tribes, conservation organizations, and private citizens.

The conservation approaches used by FWCOs are diverse and include, but are not limited to, population management and assessment, aquatic invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
management, hatchery product evaluation, and habitat restoration. FWCOs coordinate multi-agency efforts by organizing partnerships and serving on planning review teams, technical committees, species management boards, and regional management efforts to ensure the sustainability of aquatic species.

Executive Team

The Project Leader, Deputy Project Leader, Program Leads, and Administrative Officer oversee office functions as an Executive Team, including project prioritization, Team budget allocations, leadership, and staff supervision/mentoring. In addition, the Executive Team are active USFWS representatives on a number of policy and technical level councils, committees, and work groups.

Executive Team Members

Janine Castro - Project Leader, oversees all programs and activities at the Columbia River FWCO

Christina Wang - Deputy Project Leader, supervises the Administration, Science Communication and Outreach, Passage and Habitat Assessment and Natural Populations Assessment programs. 

Jeremy Voeltz - Supervises the Hatchery Assessment, GIS and Data, and Marking and Tagging programs 

Larry Fishler - Supervises the Administration Program 


The Administration group provides support services related to budget, procurement, property, human resources, safety, space management and information technology. The budget analyst and administrative officer track expenditures in a variety of project accomplishments throughout the fiscal year and provide regular updates to management. The Administration group helps to develop future spending plans and project specific budget tracking that addresses the priorities for CRFWCO field projects and management programs. Administrative staff coordinate all cooperative and reimbursable agreements engaged in by the CRFWCO. The majority of procurement for the office is done by the CRFWCO administrative section. The CRFWCO office assistants process timesheets, travel vouchers, distribute mail and greet visitors to the office. Lastly, an information technology contractor helps to address CRFWCO IT needs.

Administration Program Members

Andrea Houts

Cynthia Hutchinson

Our Services

Our Projects and Research

The CRFWCO provides science-based recommendations for the management of aquatic resources on Federal and Tribal lands in the Pacific Northwest. The programs in our office provide technical assessment, interagency coordination, and representation for technical- and policy-level workgroups, committees, councils, and commissions. Our programs are:

Passage and Habitat Assessment

To implement the mission of the CRFWCO, the Passage and Habitat Team (PHT) represents CRFWCO in regional and national management forums and provides assessments to inform key management decisions needed to determine the status of imperiled natural stocks, to evaluate management measures for recovery, assist in the recovery of these stocks, and to prevent future listings. Learn more about the Passage and Habitat Assessment program

Natural Population Assessment

The Natural Population Assessment program is responsible for providing scientific-based contributions to the management and conservation of native fish species in the Pacific Northwest by investigating the spatial and temporal distribution of fish populations, their movement and migration patterns, estimating population abundance and trends, and determining how these relate to habitat conditions and anthropogenic changes to habitat. Learn more about the Natural Population Assessment program.

Hatchery Assessment

The Hatchery Assessment program monitors hatchery production and performance, and assess impacts to wild and ESA-listed populations to identify information needs and designs studies to fill data gaps that help our National Fish Hatcheries operate using the best available information to meet program goals. Learn more about the Hatchery Assessment program.

Marking and Tagging

The Marking and Tagging program carries out mandated mass marking of hatchery fish and assists in studies that evaluate the effects of marking techniques on hatchery fish. Learn more about the Marking and Tagging program.

GIS and Data

The GIS / Data Team provides training and support for projects that use GIS, GPS, and database software for data collection and management. Learn more about the GIS and Data program.

Science Communication and Outreach

The Science Communication and Outreach Program has the primary responsibility of coordinating the information and education activities for CRFWCO. Learn more about the Science Communication and Outreach Program.