Spring Storm in the Great Basin Red Cliffs Desert Tortoise Reserve March Morning on the Platte River After a Spring Storm in the Great Basin Hunting Upland Birds at Kingsbury Lake Waterfowl Production Area Sandhill Migration on the Platte River Badlands Sunrise The Green River at Ouray NWR North Park Lupines Moab Sunset
News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

Service Report: Nation’s Rivers Flow toward Better Habitat, Economies and Public Safety

For Immediate Release

July 22, 2013


Each year, with the ebb and flow of the Yellowstone River's currents, sediments are moved around, picked up, and deposited. The sill upon which the screens set must be clean of all debris. Photo Credit: George Jordan / USFWS

More than 200 barriers removed in 2012

More than 200 blockages in the nation’s major natural resource “arteries” were removed last year thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Passage Program. Working with numerous partners, the program improves fish passage, local economies and public safety by ridding the nation’s rivers of derelict dams that no longer serve a purpose.

"Free-flowing, healthy rivers and streams are vital to our nation. Many species of fish, wildlife and plants depend on the natural ebb and flow of rivers at critical stages of their lives,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “I’m pleased to report last year the Service and its partners reconnected more than 2,500 miles of streams and 36,000 associated wetland acres, providing opportunities for aquatic populations to increase and become more resilient in the face of greater environmental pressures."

Estimates show there are approximately 74,000 derelict dams and millions of other manmade river impediments in the United States. These structures impede upstream and downstream passage for native fish, destroy or eliminate access to key spawning habitat, and degrade water quality by preventing normal stream flow that cleanses river systems. In addition, if aging dams fail, they can threaten human safety in downstream communities.

The Service’s FY 2012 National Fish Passage Program Annual Report illustrates many collaborative accomplishments, from Alaska to the southeast United States. Last year, projects were completed in more than 40 states in cooperation with approximately 300 partners across the nation. Projects included fish passage barrier removals, engineering, planning and partnership coordination, monitoring and evaluation, and barrier inventories.

Across the country, the National Fish Passage Program has helped fish, wildlife and people in numerous ways. Species benefited by fish passage projects include native Yellowstone cutthroat trout, leopard darter, Ouachita shiner, Rio Grande cutthroat trout, northern pike, American shad, blueback herring, American eel, brook trout, Atlantic salmon, Dolly Varden char, imperiled freshwater mussels, and even the Hawaiian freshwater shrimp. Plants and other native wildlife also benefit from the program’s efforts to restore free-flowing waters.

Click here to read the rest of this story. »

With 70 percent of funds applied to on-the-ground projects and leveraged at a 3:1 ratio (nonfederal match to federal program funds), the National Fish Passage Program’s modest investments are paying off. Since 1999, the program has:

  • • Removed 1,345 fish passage barriers.
  • • Reopened access to 20,229 stream miles.
  • • Benefited more than 90 species of fish and freshwater mussels.
  • • Supported 219,195 jobs.
  • • Provided $11 billion in economic value to local communities.

The National Fish Passage Program also provides leadership and support in the science of fish passage engineering and research, including a 2012 project at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center in Montana to study fish swimming capabilities under varying conditions to guide the design of fish passage projects. In addition, the program developed a Web-based application known as GeoFIN (Fisheries Information Network), a decision-support platform that helps biologists find and analyze data and make informed and strategic choices about how and where to spend resources to maximize benefits for priority aquatic species.

The FY 2012 report also outlines goals for FY 2013, including identification of more than 350 “shovel-ready” fish passage projects and strategies to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and others to develop a long-term approach for dealing with aquatic resources and road infrastructure resiliency in advance of flooding and other natural disasters.

To view a copy of the report, visit: www.fws.gov/fisheries/whatwedo/NFPP/nfpp.html

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel, and download photos from our Flickr page.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of Communications

4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS-330

Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 358-2220

(703) 358-1973

www.fws.gov

Contacts

Laury Parramore
(703) 358-2541
laury_parramore@fws.gov


Enter your e-mail address below


SafeSubscribe Logo
For Email Marketing you can trust
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with
Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and
their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
May 24, 2013
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
flickr youtube