Fish and Aquatic Conservation

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get involved?

The National Fish Passage Program works with partners. We depend on strong partnerships with individuals, organizations, local governments, and agencies to conduct fish passage projects.

Fish passage project proposals may be initiated by any individual, organization, government, or agency, in cooperation with their local Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office.  Please contact your Regional Fish Passage Coordinator or local Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office to begin the process!

What is a fish passage project?

A fish passage project is any activity that improves the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move by reconnecting habitat that has been fragmented by barriers.

Are there examples of successful projects or project accomplishments?

Each year an Annual Report is completed detailing the successes of the program.  These reports can provide example projects as well as details relating to the benefits we have had on the ground.  Hardcopies of the reports are available by contacting your Regional Fish Passage Coordinator.

How do I apply for funding through the National Fish Passage Program?

Proposals must be submitted to a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office Biologist to be formally considered for funding.  To begin this process, please contact your Regional Fish Passage Coordinator, or your local Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office.  Service Biologists will discuss the project with you and help in ensuring it is a good fit for the National Fish Passage Program.  It is recommended that you do this early in the process so that they can help guide the creation of the proposal and provide templates or formatting instructions.

NFPP funding cannot be used for mitigation projects or for those required by other regulation.

What is the application process and how are projects prioritized?

Proposals are accepted year round, however, the funding cycle for Fish Passage projects begins each year in August and ends with funds awarded the following spring.  Funding is administered through the Regional and local Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Fish and Wildlife Service and the following criteria will be used in this process to compare projects and make funding decisions:

  • show the greatest ecological benefits for trust species,

  • exhibit permanence of fish passage benefits,

  • make use of the most current scientific knowledge and proven technology,

  • evidence the greatest public support,

  • and generate the maximum in matching contributions

Please note that fish passage projects are not eligible for funding if they are eligible for any Federal or State compensatory mitigation or if fish passage is a condition provided by existing Federal or State regulatory programs.

What is the average funding level for a fish passage project?

Generally, fund for selected projects become available in Spring but actual timing is dependent upon federal budget allocation.
Projects funded in the past range from a few thousand dollars in National Fish Passage Program support.  On average the fish passage program contributes between $70,000 and there is no upper limit.  

Are non-federal matching funds required?

The National Fish Passage Program has flexibility from project to project but strives to achieve a 50% federal OR non-federal match, which can include in-kind contributions.


Last updated: September 14, 2015