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Fish Passage

State highways cross streams and rivers on bridges and culverts throughout Oregon, which can impede fish migration. The Oregon Department of Transportation continues to evaluate and implement ways to improve fish passage, to provide fish access to important habitat in order to help maintain healthy waterways and healthy fish populations.

Fish passage barriers are found statewide and include infrastructure such as:

  • Culverts.
  • Tide gates.
  • Bridges.

Removing a single migration barrier can deliver impressive benefits, improving access to fish habitat.

Incorporating fish passage options into road crossings of streams can improve access to vital habitats for adult and juvenile fish. Reconnecting stream habitat provide the access to habitats fish need to flourish.

This is an important component of protecting and restoring fish populations, which can have multiple benefits, including for commercial and recreational fishing industries.

Related Programs

Culvert Engineering

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and ODOT partnered together for a three-year pilot project. This project made critical repairs and improve fish passage to some aging culverts in western Oregon.

While the repairs do not meet full fish passage criteria, passage is improved at each site. To offset the delay in providing full fish passage, ODOT paid into an ODFW-managed account - the Fish Passage Compensation Fund - that will help fund five of the highest priority fish passage projects in the state.

ODFW has completed its report of activities expedited through the 2015-2017 Culvert Repair Programmatic Agreement Pilot Project, including analyses on the effects on fish passage and the fish passage improvements implemented with the compensation fund.

ODOT implemented 15 projects through the pilot project improving access to approximately 27.68 miles of native migratory fish habitat. The compensation provided by ODOT allowed ODFW to fund five high priority restoration projects that will provide full criteria fish passage to approximately 139.5 miles of native migratory fish habitat and access to approximately 3,000 acres of floodplain lakes and sloughs.

ODFW and ODOT identified benefit in the program and created a new programmatic agreement for 2018-2022. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved this agreement in December 2017.

Given the low number of projects, the new agreement will still be a pilot project so that enough data can be collected to adequately assess the project.

Additional Information

2018 Culvert Repair Report 

2019 Culvert Repair Report

2020 Culvert Repair Report

​​2021 Culvert Repair Report

2022 Culvert Repair Report​​

ODFW CRPA Pilot Project Final Report

ODOT CRPA Pilot Project Final Report

CRPA Project Initiation-Tracking Form

ODOT CRPA Fish Passage Monitoring Form 

CRPA Lanes

F2 Site Scoping Summary Form

Active Channel Width / Ordinary High Water Technical Bulletin​


Phone: 503-986-3459

Contact the Geo-Environmental Section

4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, MS 6
Salem, Oregon 97302
Fax: 503-986-3249

Program Contacts

Phone: 503-986-3459