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2018: Upcoming Fish Passage Projects

Diadromous fish species are fish that spend portions of their life cycles partially in fresh water and partially in salt water. Restoration of their habitat by dam removal, culvert replacements, and other improvements to fish passage is a high priority for NOAA’ Habitat Restoration Center. Dams and other structures have significantly reduced access to migratory fish species spawning, rearing, and nursery grounds, and are a major factor in their population decline. 

Several diadromous fish in our region face uncertain futures, such as Atlantic salmon and shortnose sturgeon, which are currently listed as threatened or endangered. Historically, certain species of diadromous fish, such as Atlantic herring, were recreationally and commercially fished throughout the region, and while this fishing pressure has decreased to enable population growth, they are still an important food source for other commercially valuable species like bluefish, tuna, lobster, and striped bass. By providing financial and technical assistance, and working with multiple partners, we are supporting the construction of several fish passage projects this summer and fall throughout our region to improve habitat for these threatened and endangered species and others.

These projects will benefit a variety of diadromous species, including Atlantic salmon, blueback herring, alewife, and American eel. When completed, these 12 projects will open 124 miles of free-flowing stream and river habitat, and enable access to more than 1,300 acres of spawning habitat for alewife.

Table of fish passage projects for 2018 in the northeast region

For more information, contact John Catena, Habitat Restoration Center, at 978-281-9251 or