The California Fish Passage Forum, an association of public, private and government organizations, is working to coordinate and streamline permits required for restoration, and assist private landowners, community groups, and public agencies in efforts to remove migration barriers and restore currently inaccessible habitat. The Forum also seeks long-term funding for fish passage projects, and conducts workshops that provide design and project implementation assistance to landowners and local agencies.
Anadromous fish habitats in California have been heavily impacted by human-caused and natural disturbances. Addressing connectivity has been consistently identified as a high priority, cost-effective approach to protecting and restoring anadromous fish populations. Restoring unimpeded passage for aquatic organisms in anadromous systems is imperative for the success of all other habitat restoration activities. A coordinated and comprehensive fish passage improvement program is fundamental to this effort.
Man-made barriers to anadromous fish migration include road and stream crossings, irrigation diversions, dams, and many other in-stream structures. Passage impediments affect adult and juvenile fish by delaying or preventing upstream and downstream migration, preventing the use of available habitat, and possibly inflicting injury or death. The California Fish Passage Forum was established in response to significant declines in coho salmon, Chinook salmon, and steelhead. At least one population of all of these species are Federally listed as either Threatened or Endangered within California, and efforts are underway to recover their populations. In addition to the salmonid species listed above, the Forum recognizes the significant impacts of passage barriers to Pacific lamprey, white and green sturgeon, Klamath Basin Lost River Sucker, and Shortnose sucker. The Forum strives to facilitate, advance, and disseminate information related to improving passage of all of these species within and beyond the State of California.
Numerous state and federal plans plans identify fish passage and connectivity, as a significant impact on California fisheries, and a high priority for restoration efforts. The Forum coordinates among agency programs and private sector activities across jurisdictions to target high priority projects, and to improve the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of fish passage restoration efforts. The Forum is also exploring opportunities to secure and provide funding for fish passage projects in the anadromous waters of California.
The Forum logo was developed by Robin Carlson, a Forum member and an employee of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. The logo is intended to depict the life history needs of anadromous fish in California - freshwater environments in which they are born, to marine environments where they spend most of their lives, and back to freshwater habitats to spawn.