What We Do

Our dedicated staff strives to conserve, restore, and improve native fish and aquatic resources throughout western Washington.  This includes studying populations and their habitats; supporting habitat restoration; and evaluating restoration projects, fish hatchery practices, and human impacts.  This work involves collaborations with local, state, and Tribal partners.

Management and Conservation

Our office address conservation and management goals in several ways.  The findings from our field studies and fish hatchery evaluation program enable us to prioritize future work and informs natural resource management decisions.  We also manage two aquatic restoration programs that improve habitat quality and fish passage fish passage
Fish passage is the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move freely throughout their life to find food, reproduce, and complete their natural migration cycles. Millions of barriers to fish passage across the country are fragmenting habitat and leading to species declines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program is working to reconnect watersheds to benefit both wildlife and people.

Learn more about fish passage

Our Services

Our Projects and Research

Our work at the Western Washington Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office (WWFWCO) addresses a variety of fish and aquatic conservation priorities throughout western Washington.  This work involves partners from Federal, State, Tribal, local-government, and non-governmental organizations.  The four main focus areas include:

Hatchery Evaluation:  We work with hatchery staff and tribal partners to evaluate hatchery programs at the three National Fish Hatcheries in our Complex; Quilcene, Makah, and Quinault. Data collected from these efforts is used to better manage our National Fish Hatcheries which provide salmon and steelhead for harvest and recreational opportunities.

Population Assessment:  Our staff work with our partners across Western Washington to conduct scientific monitoring and evaluation for a number of fish species and other aquatic organisms. These efforts help monitor the status of threatened, endangered, and sensitive species, evaluate the effects of urbanization on fish populations, and prioritize conservation and recovery efforts.

Fishery Management Assistance:  We provide data and technical expertise to multiple fishery management forums. We help curate and report regional coded-wire-tag data for USFWS, evaluate the impacts of coastwide salmon fisheries, and help develop fishery management recommendations.

Habitat Restoration:  Our office manages two aquatic habitat restoration programs: the National Fish Passage Program and the Chehalis Fisheries Restoration Program. WWFWCO staff also conduct monitoring studies to evaluate the effectiveness of aquatic habitat restoration projects.

The following video highlight some of our population monitoring projects from the summer of 2022.

Typhanie Shepherd and Daniel Spencer, USFWS
Come along for an exciting tour of some field projects managed and supported by the Western Washington Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. From radio tracking the mighty Elwha River Chinook salmon, to sampling the tiny Olympic mudminnow, this video features a diversity of watersheds, sampling methods, species, staff, and partners.