Draft Fish Protection Screen Guidelines for Washington State


Published: April 25, 2000

Pages: 56

Author(s): Bryan Nordlund, Ken Bates

Guidelines for Salmonid Habitat Protection And Restoration

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. This document is one of a series of documents that will make up the guidelines. Additional subjects for which guidelines have been (as of April, 2000) or will be developed are:

  • Bank protection â€" Integrated Streambank Protection Guidelines is currently being developed.
  • Fish passage at road culverts â€" Fish Passage at Road Culverts is available.
  • Fishways guidelines are currently being developed.
  • Sand and gravel removal guidelines.
  • Estuary restoration guidelines.
  • Shoreline salmonids habitat restoration guidelines.
  • Freshwater habitat restoration guidelines.
  • Channel design guidelines.


Note: Works in Progress - These "works in progress" have been developed to show the progress being made with the Aquatic Habitat Guidelines program. Drafts of guidelines currently under development, as well as information pertaining to their development, are presented here. The �"works in progress” documents posted on this site illustrate the thoughts of those individuals contributing to the program. The information provided is continually changing and being updated. The �"works in progress” documents do not necessarily reflect current guidelines or the policies of state agencies. By entering the links below, you agree to use these documents as discussion drafts only.

Fish protection screens are devices installed at surface water diversions to physically preclude passage of fish into the intake and injury of fish at the intake. This document presents criteria and practical considerations for the design of fish protection screens including applications for hydroelectric facilities, irrigation, municipal, and industrial water withdrawal projects. The major objective of the Fish Screen Guidelines is to highlight important design elements that should be considered in the design of fish screens at water diversion projects to provide the safe downstream passage of migrating juvenile salmonids.

This document is a guideline only. It is intended to describe how to comply with specific design criteria or other fish protection requirements. Design criteria generally accepted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Northwest Region of National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are included as a guide. Design criteria and requirements for a specific site or facility should be verified directly with those agencies. Contacts are provided in Appendix X Fish Screen Contacts in Washington State. These guidelines cover common situations where fish screens are required; different or additional requirements may be stipulated for specific installations.

This document refers to specific NMFS requirements. This document is not a NMFS document and therefore is not intended to be a comprehensive or necessarily current reflection of policies or guidelines of that agency. Detailed NMFS and WDFW fish screening criteria should be applied. They are available on the WDFW website. NMFS has additional specific pump screen criteria at http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1hydrop/pumpcrit1.htm.

There are many types of fish screens, designed for varying water withdrawal situations. However, they all share common design objectives; to allow the passage of water and the safe and relatively unimpeded movement of fish. Both of these objectives can be met through careful design considerations. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) have set specific fish screen design criteria to protect juvenile salmonids. These criteria span the design process from screen materials, to hydraulic and biological considerations.