The National Fish Passage Program (NFPP) is a voluntary, non-regulatory initiative that provides funding and technical assistance to restore aquatic connectivity and fish habitats by removing or bypassing barriers to fish.
Free-flowing rivers give fish unrestricted access to habitat. Waters harnessed by agriculture or industry, or controlled to protect property see precipitous declines in fish numbers, and in some cases complete removal of once abundant fishes. Today, more than six million barriers exist—some of which have outlived their original intent. Not only do they obstruct fish passage and decrease the resilience of aquatic species, the barriers serve no purpose. Moreover, many have become health and safety hazards for people.
The cost of maintaining an obsolete dam or other barrier may exceed the expense of removing a barrier or installing a bypass that will be resilient in the face of significant stream flows.
Marshfield Dam Removal, Winooski River, Marshfield, VT
Replace Prosperity Road crossing on Little Niangua River to benefit threatened Niangua darter. This location is a key component of improving fish passage and habitat stability in a significant portion of federally designated critical habitat.
BQ diversion and fish screens on Twin Creek in Wyoming. This project benefits water users as well as providing fish passage and saving 10's of thousands of fish annually in the system. During 2008 Trout Unlimited operated a fish trap , a total of 402 fish (all native species), including 1 Bonneville cutthroat trout, 15 northern leatherside chubs, and 2 bluehead suckers. In addition we captured 5 longnose dace, 132 redside shiners, 178 mountain suckers, 23 speckled dace, 45 Utah suckers, and 1 sculpin.
Red River Fish Passage at Christine and Hickson Dams in Minnesota and North Dakota
Fish passage was identified as a major component to the success of lake sturgeon restoration in the Red River watershed and on the White Earth Reservation. Christine and Hickson dams were 2 of 3 remaining mainstem dams that prevented fish from freely migrating upstream to access spawning habitat in the upper Red River.
Dike and Levee removal in the Lower MS River - Kangaroo Point
The project will directly reconnect 41 acres of active floodplain habitat to the Naches River and will reconnect 2 side channels that were cut off by the original levee construction in 1974.
Tropical storm Irene devastated much of the White River basin in 2011 including at the Rochester Cemetery where an unsafe temporary structure had to be used in order to reconnect the road for access post flooding. Our objective was to insure that brook trout habitat is available (passage) and healthy (restoration) post flooding. NFPP collaborated with FEMA’s emergency response needs as well as the Town of Rochester needs. Working closely with White River Partnership and the Town of Rochester, the US Fish and Wildlife Service NFPP was able to provide technical assistance, engineering designs, funding and project over site to ensure projects allow both fish and aquatic organism passage. Our goals were simple: maintain healthy, sustainable brook trout populations by assisting towns with their post disaster flooding response.