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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Considerations for Multi-Species Fish Passage in California: A Literature Review


This review serves as a guide to improve multi-species fish passage. Human development along waterways in California during the last 160 years has adversely affected fish populations in many watersheds. Conflicts in water usage will only intensify with modern developments and population growth. Since most past fish-passage improvement efforts in California have focused on salmonids, I summarize the published studies and considerations that affect multi-species fish passage. To be effective, conditions in fishways need to meet the specific hydraulic requirements, as well as abilities, behavior, and size consideration for all fish species being considered. Turbulence, water depth, velocity, passage location, and design of a passage facility are essential elements to successful fish passage. Because of a lack of research on most of the native species, species-specific passage criteria are not fully defined, and it may be helpful to use data for physically similar, surrogate species found in similar habitats.

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