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There are thousands of fish passage barriers in California, and prioritization methods on which barriers to remediate differ widely throughout the state. Recognizing the need to ease, and possibly standardize this process, the California Fish Passage Forum (Forum) set out to create a tool that could provide one state-wide method to assist in making these decisions. For more than a decade the Forum has been collecting, refining, and analyzing data to be integrated into various versions of an optimization model, ultimately resulting in FISHPass.

FISHPass  is a web-based decision-support tool designed to help users identify fish passage barriers for remediation. FISHPass is an optimization model that 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 costs. FISHPass is publicly available to users at no cost and is designed to be a "living-tool", that the Forum will continually improve and refine.











































FISHPass is based on, and built using OptiPass(TM,) a Microsoft Windows®-based program developed by Dr. Jesse O'Hanley of Ecotelligence in 2015. For more information on how the optimization process functions, see OptiPass: The Migratory Fish Passage Optimization Tool, Version 1.1. User Manual (O'Hanley 2015). The web interface for this version of FISHPass was developed by Ecotrust.


Questions & Feedback


If you have questions about the tool, please refer to the FISHPass User Guide. Please send any feedback or questions about FISHPass to


You can also help make FISHPass more useful and reliable by regularly contacting the PAD administrator with updates regarding the status of barriers in your area.

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On October 24, 2019 the Forum hosted a webinar introducing this new web-based version of FISHPass that discussed the tool's background and development, provided a live demo, and discussed expected next steps.


*Please note: This webinar includes discussion of using FISHPass for resident populations. Unfortunately, at this time the FISHPass optimization model is not currently designed for recommending treatment of barriers to stream resident fish populations. FISHPass is, however, designed to recommend barriers for removal that maximize the restoration of potential upstream habitat for anadromous species (Salmon, Steelhead, and Pacific Lamprey).

You can view a recording of the webinar below.

Learn more!

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