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Reopening Rivers for Migratory Fish

April 16, 2018

Join us in celebrating World Fish Migration Day, April 21, 2018 and learn more about how NOAA Fisheries works to remove barriers to fish migration.

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April 21, 2018 is World Fish Migration Day—a global-local event to raise awareness of the importance of open rivers and migratory fish. Take a look at these features to learn how we work to address barriers to fish migration and open their passage ways.

Fish Migration Features

Reopening Rivers for Migratory Fish


Every year, millions of fish migrate to their native habitats to reproduce. They are often blocked from completing their journey. When fish can’t reach their habitat, their populations can’t grow. Learn how we work to reopen rivers for migratory fish.

Gold Ray Rogue River dam in Oregon


West Coast Veterans Give Fish New Upstream Habitat Connections

The Northwest NOAA Fisheries Veterans Internship program in Washington and California Veterans Corps Fishery Program support veterans with training, job skills, and mentorship. They also help us achieve our recovery goals for threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead. Learn how these programs are providing former service members with new opportunities

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NOAA Works with Partners to Develop State-of-the-Art Fish Passage

Oregon’s Clackamas River hydroelectric project benefits fish and communities. Learn more about the recent collaboration providing both state-of-the-art fish passage and power generation.

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How Do Scientists Know Where the Fish Go?

Acoustic telemetry helps researchers keep tabs on individual fish and other critters as they migrate. Read more about how scientists use this technology to learn more about the fish movements.

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Fish Passage Success Stories from Around the United States


NOAA’s work helping fish access critical habitat is happening all around us. Learn more about our community-driven dam removal projects, and efforts to support innovative ways to pass fish beyond hydropower dams and into their breeding areas. Learn more about fish passage success stories.

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Celebrate World Fish Migration Day!


On April 21, organizations from around the world celebrate World Fish Migration Day with events around the common theme of "Connecting Rivers, Fish, and People." NOAA Fisheries will participate and support many events around the United States. See more World Fish Migration Day related events.

River herring alewives


What Migratory Issues Do Steelhead Face as They Brave Puget Sound?

Steelhead, a salmon species and Washington’s State Fish, are currently at less than 10 percent of their historic abundance and are listed as a threatened species.  NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center is partnering with Long Live the Kings to promote Survive the Sound, an online to game that lets anyone follow along as real wild steelhead (acoustically-tagged by NOAA scientists) make their spring migration (May 7-18, 2018) through the Puget Sound. This year teachers can sign up for free and can access a collection of education resources about endangered species and ecosystems.  Everyone is invited to play along.  Sponsor a fish or join our (Northwest Fisheries Science Center) team!



Infographic: Can a Fish Climb a Ladder?


The most common way for adult fish to get past a dam is to use a fish ladder, a water-filled structure that allows fish to pass up and over in a series of steps. Learn more about fish ladders.

Fish ladder at Weldon Dam


Events: World Fish Migration Day Events in New England and the Mid-Atlantic


Learn about the obstacles fish face in our rivers and streams, and how we are helping them get past those barriers by removing dams and building fish passage. Attend one of many different events we’re participating in for World Fish Migration Day. Learn more about World Fish Migration Day events in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Alewife in a fish run


Dive into Fish Migration Videos

The Science Behind Restoring the Elwha

Get a closer look at the large-scale restoration efforts and science behind the largest dam removal in U.S. history, on the Elwha River in Washington State. How did NOAA Fisheries scientists prepare for and measure the changes? Watch the video below.

Salmon Bring a Better Life to Eastern Washington

In the Northwest, local governments and stakeholders share the responsibility of supporting salmon and habitat recovery. Together, NOAA and the Snake River Salmon Recovery Board are working to improve habitat, restore salmon, and help the local economy. Watch the video below.