Forum-funded Juvenile Fish Passage Criteria Assessment Project Helps Inform Update to NMFS Guidelines That Saves Taxpayers and Practitioners Millions of Dollars  

Recording of Introductory FISHPass Webinar Available 


On October 24, 2019 at 11am PDT the Forum hosted a webinar to introduce users to the new web-based version of FISHPass.

FISHPass is a decision-support tool designed to help users identify fish passage barriers for remediation in California.  This web-based optimization model uses barrier information from the California Passage Assessment Database (PAD), accounts for spatial layout of the barriers in the network, cumulative barrier passability,  potential upstream habitat, and optionally, estimated cost.


Learn more about FISHPass and view the webinar recording here.

Upper Green Valley Creek Selected as one of NFHP's 2019 "10 Waters to Watch"

The California Fish Passage Forum is pleased to announce that the Upper Green Valley Creek Fish Passage Project was selected to the National Fish Habitat Partnership's (NFHP) 2019 list of 10 Waters to Watch. This selection continues the Forum's strong tradition of having projects selected to this annual list. Of the 74 projects selected over the years, eight have been nominated by the Forum. 


The Upper Green Valley Creek Fish Passage Project, led by the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District (GRRCD), and funded in part by the Forum, restored fish passage and stabilized the grade through a 600-ft stream reach of Upper Green Valley Creek (a tributary to the Russian River), resulting in passage for juvenile and adult coho salmon to an additional 4,810 ft of rearing and spawning habitat. Key partners included GRRCD, Stetson Engineers, Point Blue Conservation Science, and McCullough Construction with funding support from California Department of Fish & Wildlife's Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) and the California Fish Passage Forum. 

Learn more about this, and other projects supported by the Forum here.

Photos courtesy of Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District


NOAA Fisheries Releases Results of Fish Passage Program 2018 Review


On March 29, 2019 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released the results of the 2018 review of NOAA's fish passage activities. An independent, external review panel evaluated the effectiveness of 10 years of NOAA's fish passage activities to protect and increase access to historic riverine rearing and spawning habitat for migrating fish species. In response, NOAA outlined priority actions to address the panel's key recommendations that will build off of the program's past achievements.


Learn more about the results of the review panel and NOAA's response here.


February 12 &13, 2020

Santa Cruz, CA


In September 2019, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southwest Region reissued the Guidelines for Salmonid Passage at Stream Crossings, originally issued September 2001. While there has been extensive research done on the leaping abilities of adult salmonids, there is little information on the leaping abilities of juveniles. This lack of understanding has resulted in inconsistent state and federal guidelines regarding jump heights at juvenile fish passage facilities in California. To better inform, and increase operational and regulatory efficiency at dams and diversions, in 2016 the California Fish Passage Forum (Forum) used NFHP funds to support the Juvenile Fish Passage Criteria Assessment Project. The findings of this project informed some of the updates in the 2019 Addendum of the NMFS Guidelines, which included two adjustments to the design criteria, and recommendations for intended applications for projects in California. These changes have helped streamline federal guidelines regarding jump heights at juvenile fish passage facilities in California, which will save taxpayers and practitioners millions of dollars in the future. 


The mission of the California Fish Passage Forum (Forum) is to protect and restore listed anadromous salmonid species, and other aquatic organisms, in California by promoting collaboration among public and private sectors for fish passage improvement projects and programs.


The goal of the Forum is to restore connectivity of freshwater habitats throughout the historic range of anadromous fish.

The Forum coordinates among agency programs and private sector activities to target high priority projects and to improve the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of fish passage.


The Forum seeks to:

  1. Remediate barriers to effective fish migration.

  2. Facilitate coordination and communication among agencies, agency staff, and other entities that may propose, review, or promulgate fish passage criteria within California.

  3. Coordinate funding mechanisms to remove fish passage barriers. 

  4. Support state and federal permit coordination and efficiencies. 

  5. Facilitate plans to monitor and evaluate fish passage restoration effectiveness to ensure accountability.

  6. Encourage existing state and national policy and actions that support fish passage improvement in California.

  7. Implement education and outreach activities, targeting both the public & fish passage practitioners.



UGVC Photos for W2W 2019 - Restored Chan