Publication Date



This manual replaces all previous editions of the Fish Passage Engineering Design Criteria issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 5.


Anthropogenic activities in rivers may introduce undue hazards to many aquatic organisms and contribute to overall habitat fragmentation. Fragmentation may negatively alter the structure and diversity of both diadromous and resident fish populations. These adverse impacts can be mitigated through dam removal, and a variety of technical and nature-like fish passage and protection technologies. Fish passage and protection (hereafter simply “fish passage”) requires the integration of numerous scientific and engineering disciplines including fish behavior, ichthyomechanics, hydraulics, hydrology, geomorphology, and hydropower. This document is intended to: 1) establish Engineering’s “baseline” design criteria for fishways, dam removals, road crossings and other fish passage related technologies; 2) serve as a resource for training in these disciplines; and 3) support the implementation of the Service’s statutory authorities related to the conservation and protection of aquatic resources (e.g., Section 18 of the Federal Power Act, Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and the Anadromous Fish Conservation Act).