Fish Passage Program - Northeast Region Updated:03/2022

The Fish Passage Program (FPP) is a voluntary, non-regulatory initiative that provides funding and technical assistance to reconnect the aquatic habitat by removing or bypassing barriers.

NFPP was initiated in 1999 to address structures built on rivers and their effects on fish and other aquatic species. NFPP program coordinators work with local communities and partner agencies to restore natural flows and fish migration by removing or bypassing barriers. Perched culverts and sediment inputs are common problems that impact fish passage at road stream crossings. Dams and other artificial barriers can also interfere with the movement patterns of fish. 

Fish Passage programs benefits the local communities by providing ecological and recreational benefits such as: increases river connectivity creating healthier aquatic habitat for fish and wildlife, improving water quality and quantity, improving sediment management, restoring and protects aquatic and riparian habitat and It provides a solution to continued decline of freshwater species in the face of climate and other ecological uncertainties.

Fish Passage Program project funding benefits the economy of local communities at the same time as enhancing the vitality of our critical and unique aquatic resources. More than 70% of the FPP’s total funding goes directly to on-the-ground project implementation.

FPP Benefits local communities faced with the expense of maintaining obsolete dams removes the threat of unsafe-killer dams and culverts and help withstand catastrophic events such as flood due to not properly designed culverts. Culverts survive the 100 to 500-year flood event if fish-friendly sizing and positioning put in place and reduces the local communities’ loss to important road infrastructure at stream crossings from flooding.

Fish passage includes removal or replacement of barriers. When fish and other aquatic species can’t move or have access their habitat they could potentially be listed as a threatened or endangered species or, maybe even become extinct. An example is the Atlantic salmon. Once plentiful and found in every river north of the Hudson River, today less than 1% of their historic population remains. The primary cause, barriers.

Improving fish passage is good for fish and people too. Barrier removal can help manage flooding by allowing rivers to flow naturally which restores floodplains. Removal also improves lives of tribal cultures like those along the Klamath River Basin in California and Oregon. There have been recent cases where they have not been allowed to fish their ancestral waters because of decreases in fish populations. The salmon that migrate in the Klamath are the source of the tribe’s food, income, and are at the heart of their ceremonies.

Contact Fish Passage Program - Northeast Region

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Contact Fish Passage Program - Northeast Region

300 Westgate Center Drive
Hadley, MA  01035
Phone: 413-253-8661
Fax: 413-253-8488

Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia