For more information on habitat issues, please contact the
WDFW Habitat Program.
Phone: 360-902-2534

For more information on WDFW managed lands including wildlife areas, please contact the
WDFW Wildlife Program.
Phone: 360-902-2515


Design Guidance, Standards & Regulations

  • Water Crossing Design Guidelines (2013)
    Updated version of the 2003 Design of Road Culverts for Fish Passage manual featuring new information and guidance for bridge crossings. This guidance manual serves as guide for property owners and engineers who are designing permanent road-crossing culverts to facilitate upstream fish migration. It provides guidance for projects involving new culvert construction as well as retrofitting or replacing existing culverts. The designer will need to have a working knowledge of hydraulic engineering, hydrology and soils/structural engineering to accomplish an appropriate design.
  • Draft Fishway Guidelines For Washington State
    As part of Washington State’s salmon recovery strategy, the Washington State Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Ecology, and Transportation, are currently developing guidelines for salmon habitat protection and restoration. The standards and guidelines are a series of manuals, workshops, and other tools addressing various activities of salmon habitat protection and restoration and are intended to ensure compliance with requirements of the federal Endangered Species Act and state salmon restoration policies.
  • Aquatic Habitat Guidelines
    In 1999, the governor's Salmon Recovery Office commissioned the Departments of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Ecology, and Transportation (WSDOT) to develop technical assistance guidance for those who want to protect and restore salmonid habitat. The scope of the program has recently broadened and now includes the promotion, protection, and restoration of fully functioning marine, freshwater, and riparian habitat through comprehensive and effective management of activities affecting Washington's aquatic and riparian ecosystems.
  • Fish Passage Barrier and Surface Water Diversion Screening Assessment and Prioritization Manual
    The Fish Passage Barrier and Surface Water Diversion Screening Assessment and Prioritization Manual provides guidance on how to locate, assess, and prioritize fish passage problems (culverts, dams, and fishways) and surface water diversion screening problems. These science-based protocols are well accepted and provide a consistent approach to determine a fish passage barrier. We encourage all parties assessing culverts to use the WDFW fish passage and screening assessment protocols and to share their data for inclusion in the statewide database.
  • National Marine Fisheries Service - Fish Screening Criteria for Pumped Water Intakes
    An addendum to current NMFS gravity intake juvenile fish screen criteria.


  • WAC 220-110-070 - Water Crossing Structures
  • RCW 77.57.030 (formerly RCW 77.55.060) - Fishways required in dams, obstructions--Penalties, remedies for failure.
  • RCW 77.57.040 (formerly RCW 77.55.070) - Director may modify inadequate fishways and fish guards.
  • RCW 77.57.070 - Diversion of water--Screen, bypass required.