Fish and Aquatic Conservation
Water Diversions

Water Diversion

Stream diversions can take more than water: fish can be removed from their habitat.
Rivers leaving their banks is normal; the NFPP strives to ensure that engineered structures properly deliver water downstream in connected fish habitats.

Blow out culverts due to flood

The by-product of a warmer atmosphere is that it is able to hold more water. Water vapor has increased by roughly 4% since the 1970s. As we continue to warm, this will increase the contrast between dry and wet regions, while most regions will be vulnerable to increases in heavy precipitation events, even places where rainfall is decreasing.

Image source: Adam Jones/Wikipedia

Even the smallest road culvert poorly designed may bar fish passage.

Colter Creek culvert

Dam Removal
Removing obsolete dams involves intensive planning and yields huge human safety and environmental benefits.

Octoraro Dam Removal

Octoraro Dam Removal

Outdoor family recreation

Outdoor family recreation

Communities, partners, scientists join forces for the protection and restoration of fish and their habitats.
Geospatial Fisheries Information Network is the intersection of fish biology, engineering and planning.

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Frequently Asked Questions





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Fish need water: that’s a given. But habitat is more than water alone. Stream-dwelling fishes need connected habitats. Waters fragmented by large dams or small, poorly placed road culverts keep fish from accessing habitat. Fish need certain waters at particular times of the year, times of day, or times of their lives, so as to live out their lives as accustomed by nature.

Not all fish migrations are as storied as iconic Pacific salmon leaping into cascading falls, moving hundreds of miles to spawn and die. Diminutive darters, sunfishes or minnows in Midwest streams may need to migrate mere feet to find refuge through a warm low-water period. Trout in the West may need to find deep water to over-winter, or a place to spawn in the spring.

No matter the reason or the season of need, the National Fish Passage Program, a voluntary, non-regulatory initiative in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides funding and technical assistance to reconnect aquatic habitats.

Last updated: February 14, 2014