The Big Dry Arm 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
Fish and Aquatic Conservation
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

National Fish Passage Program (NFPP)

  • Credit: USFWS.

    Spread Creek, Wyoming

    Before

  • Credit: USFWS.

    Spread Creek, Wyoming

    After

  • Credit: USFWS.

    Tusher Wash, Green River, Utah

    Low Water

  • Credit: USFWS.

    Tusher Wash, Green River, Utah

    High Water

  • Credit: USFWS.

    175st St. Crossing, Kansas

    Before

  • Credit: USFWS.

    175st St. Crossing, Kansas

    After

  • Credit: USFWS.

    Christine Dam, North Dakota

    Before

  • Credit: USFWS.

    Christine Dam, North Dakota

    After

  • Credit: USFWS.

    Soldier Creek, Big Horn NF, Wyoming

    Before

  • Credit: USFWS.

    Soldier Creek, Big Horn NF, Wyoming

    After

 

 

 

In 1999, the Fisheries program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) established the National Fish Passage Program (NFPP), a voluntary, non-regulatory initiative that provides funding and technical assistance to reconnect the aquatic habitat by removing or bypassing barriers. Within NFPP, the Mountain-Prairie Fish Passage Program works with individuals, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and local communities to conserve our nation’s aquatic resources by assessing, removing or bypassing barriers, thereby restoring our free flowing rivers.

Though no comprehensive assessment has ever been conducted, it is estimated that there are over 28,000 fish barriers in the Mountain-Prairie Region. Many of these barriers are obsolete and have become human health and safety hazards as they increase flood risk, decrease the resilience of aquatic species and contribute to the loss of self-sustaining populations.  In the western United States, many aquatic species barriers are also associated with irrigation diversion dams and road crossings, many of which have reached the end of their useful life and are being upgraded and rebuilt with like structures. The Mountain-Prairie Fish Passage Program actively seeks out opportunities to work within regional priorities to add the element of fish passage to these upgrade projects.

Additionally, the Mountain-Prairie Region’s Fishery program assists us in conducting fish passage research on priority species. Studies are ongoing and conducted in collaboration with Montana State University and MSU-Western Transport Institute. Current projects and more information can be found at https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/fisheries/ftc.php.

Through our partners, between 1999 and 2016, the Mountain-Prairie Region has removed barriers and restored connectivity to over 2000 miles of flowing water. Our goal is to eliminate barriers and connect aquatic habitats, enhancing aquatic populations to their maximum potential across the Mountain-Prairie Region.

CONTACT US!
The Mountain-Prairie Region’s Fish Passage Program accepts projects throughout the calendar year for funding consideration during the yearly budget cycle.  Project proposals can be discussed and submitted through Service Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices (http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/fisheries/), or by contacting the Regional NFPP Coordinator at the address listed below.

Bill Rice, PE
USFWS, Mountain-Prairie Region, National Fish Passage Program Coordinator
P.O. Box 25486
Denver, CO 80225-0486
303-236-4219
william_rice@fws.gov

Got a engineering challenge or question? Contact:
Bill Rice, PE at william_rice@fws.gov or (303) 236-4219
Wayne Stancill, PE at wayne_stancill@fws.gov or (605) 224 8693 x229

Fish Passage Workshops:
TBD

Key Links:
Colorado Parks & Wildlife: Fish Passage and Barrier Studies
http://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/RA-Fish-Barrier-Studies.aspx

Kansas Fish Passage Guide
http://www2.ku.edu/~kutc/pdffiles/FishPassageGuide2015.pdf

Forest Service: Aquatic Organism Passage Stream Simulation Design Guide and FishXing Software (free)
http://stream.fs.fed.us/fishxing/

Federal Highway Administration “Culvert Design for Aquatic Organism Passage”
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/hydraulics/pubs/11008/hif11008.pdf

Attention Students!
The University of Massachusetts Amherst now offers a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering degree with a specialization in Fish Passage Engineering!
http://cee.umass.edu/msce-with-specialization-fish-passage-engineering

Beyond Region 6
National Fish Passage Program webpage
https://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.
Last modified: February 21, 2017
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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