Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act (FRIMA)
Read our 2002-2012 Accomplishment Report for the Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act Program
In November of 2000, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act (FRIMA). This new law, Public Law 106-502, created a voluntary, cost-shared fish screen installation and diversion dam correction program for water withdrawal projects in those portions of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and western Montana which drain into the Pacific Ocean. This new program is being implemented by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with state and tribal partners within the Northwest. The first implementation funds were appropriated to this program in November of 2001. For a copy of the 2002-2004 FRIMA accomplishments report please click here.
Water diversions send water from streams and rivers to crop irrigation, drinking water, industrial use, power generation, and other beneficial uses. However, nearly 80 percent of the water diversions in the Pacific Northwest are unscreened. These unscreened diversions can pose a major risk to the juveniles of endangered species like salmon, steelhead, or suckers, and to endangered or declining trout such as the redband, coastal cutthroat, and bull trout and other native fishes. Diversion structures can also block the upstream and downstream movement of juvenile and adult fish, resulting in further mortality and lost production. This fish screening program is thus a powerful new tool to reduce fish mortality and blockage of fish passage at water diversions. Well-designed and maintained projects will prevent the decline of native fish species and substantially contribute to the restoration of fish populations already in conservation status.
Here's how it works. State, local, and tribal governments, as well as individual water diversion operators, propose projects that meet the eligibility and local cost-share requirements of this program. These are then ranked based on fish restoration benefits, cost effectiveness, and feasibility criteria. Once selected, screening and passage projects are then installed or improved by working with our state, tribal, and local partners. Project sponsors assume responsibility for project operation and maintenance. This program is carefully coordinated with complementary state screening programs and existing programs for habitat improvements within the Columbia Basin and adjacent areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Click here for more information about the implementation of this program, for more information on how a project can be considered for cost-share funding through this program, and for a list of people who can assist you. For current information on the application process, including copies of application packets, please go to Applications. For links to additional information about fish passage programs and guidelines, please go to Links.