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


What we do and how WDFW can help?

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plays a central role in fish passage activities in Washington State. For well over 20 years, we’ve been working with public agencies, private landowners, local governments and non-profit community groups to inventory fish passage barriers, provide technical assistance and develop sound engineering solutions.

WDFW leads the State in resolving fish passage barrier problems, and is an active partner in supporting the public as well as State Agencies, local jurisdictions, and restorations groups with their efforts to locate and fund fish passage barrier repairs across the State.

WDFW has been conducting fish passage work for over 20 years as has the following expertise:

  • Biological expertise assessing fish barriers, fish use determination, and develop solutions to correct barriers
  • Fisheries technicians that evaluate culverts and conduct habitat assessments to prioritize barrier projects.
  • Environmental engineers who specialize in fish passage and screening design solutions
  • Permit Assistance/streamlining
  • Fish passage database that serves as a central repository for information across the state.
  • Fish passage assessment and prioritization manual that are science based and well known as the standard set of protocols across the State of Washington.

Fish passage inventories lead to identification and assessment of instream features and prioritization of fish passage barriers based on amount, quality, and species utilization of habitat upstream of the barrier. By prioritizing barriers, we develop a strategy that ensures financial investments that have the largest benefit to salmon and steelhead, are the highest priority projects and are completed first. When project dollars become available, we are ready to act and implement the highest priority projects and ensure that limited funds are well spent.

Fish passage inventories can be conducted by WDFW staff. Through partnerships, WDFW has recently assisted Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Parks as well as local jurisdictions to complete barrier assessments and prioritization efforts.  We highly encourage anyone conducting inventories to use the state standard methods described in the Fish Passage Barrier and Surface Water Diversion Screening Assessment and Prioritization Manual.  Please contact us if you need assistance with learning these methods.