For more information on species & ecosystem science:

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Fish Science

Habitat Science


Project Leads


Phillip Dionne, Research Scientist, Nearshore & Forage Fish Ecology


Research Focus
- Forage fish spawning ecology
- Nearshore ecology
- Forage fish abundance and distribution
- Shoreline modification monitoring

M.S. Marine Biology,
University of Maine, Orono, ME

M.S. Marine Policy,
University of Maine, Orono, ME

B.S. Geology,
SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY

Contact information:

Phillip Dionne, M. Sc.
Research Scientist, Nearshore & Forage Fish Ecology

Phillip Dionne has been with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Habitat Science Team, since 2012. His current research interests are monitoring effects of shoreline modification on nearshore habitat, identifying and assessing the distribution and characteristics of forage fish spawning habitat, assessing new methods of detecting forage fish spawn, and monitoring the implementation of marine bulkhead HPA permits to help inform the development of a more effective permit system. Prior to joining the habitat program Phill’s research included work with the WDFW Fish Program using mark – recapture, and acoustic telemetry to assess abundance of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed Green Sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) in Washington and Oregon estuaries, and using estimates of larvae density to estimate spawning stock biomass of ESA listed eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) returning to the Columbia River.

Current Research

  • Marine Beach Spawning Fish Ecology
  • Patterns of Forage Fish Spawning Habitat Use
  • Effects of Shoreline Armoring on Beach Spawning Fish
  • Genetic Differentiation of Surf Smelt Populations
  • Tracking Abundance and Distribution of Eulachon in Washington State
  • Estimating Abundance and Distribution of Green Sturgeon in Coastal Estuaries
  • Evaluation Methods of Detecting Forage Fish Spawning

Selected Publications & Presentations

  • Dionne, P. E., G. B. Zydlewski, M. T. Kinnison, J. Zydlewski, and G. S. Wippelhauser. 2013. Reconsidering residency: characterization and conservation implications of complex migratory patterns of shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Vol.70, No. 1: pp. 119-127.
  • Dionne, P.E., E. VanDyke, and L. Wargo.  2012.  Studies of Eulachon Smelt in Oregon and Washington.  Friday Harbor Laboratories Research Symposium: Conservation and Ecology of Marine Forage Fish, Friday Harbor, WA.
  • Dionne, P.E., E. VanDyke 2012. Eulachon Smelt Distribution and Abundance. Eulachon Technical Summit, Toledo, WA.
  • Zydlewski, G. B., M. T. Kinnison, P. E. Dionne, J. Zydlewski, and G. S. Wippelhauser. 2011. Shortnose sturgeon use small coastal rivers: the impostance of habitat connectivity. Journal of Applied Ichthyology. Vol. 27, s2: 41-44.