For more information on the Hydraulic Permit Application (HPA) Program, please contact:
WDFW Habitat Program
(360) 902-2534


Technical Assistance for Better Projects

WDFW offers a wide range of technical assistance that not only helps people implement habitat restoration projects, but also provides advice for designing fish-friendly stream crossings and residential and commercial/industrial development projects.

Pre-Application Assistance

You can submit a general concept of their project for review through APPS at no cost – and without the need for SEPA documentation, final design, or other specifics. A WDFW Habitat Biologist will contact you to discuss project design and answer questions about the application process. WDFW recommends this approach for people who are uncertain about what a successful application might entail.

Planning and Mapping Resources

Project Guidelines

Designing climate change-resilient culverts and bridges - WDFW's water crossing guidance now considers stream changes due to climate change. We will help you design culverts and bridges using future stream condition data to avoid project failure and fish blockage.

Aquatic Habitat Guidelines - There are several guides to help you with hydraulic project planning and design including:

Fish Exclusion, Handling, and Electrofishing Protocols

Fish and Habitat Survey Protocols


  • Mitigation Guidelines – HPAs include requirements designed to ensure hydraulic projects are done in a way that avoids and minimizes impacts to fish life. However, if projects exceed allowable impacts, WDFW requires compensatory mitigation to fully offset the remaining impacts. In these cases, something else may need to be done to make up for the resulting effects on fish life. The purpose of mitigation is to ensure that public resources continue to exist for public use.
  • Interagency Regulatory Guide: Advance Permittee-Responsible Mitigation - This guide helps applicants develop advanced mitigation proposals, and explains how advanced mitigation sites may be used to compensate for unavoidable impacts.

Other Fish, Wildlife, and Habitat Resources