Skip to main content
Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

World Fish Migration Day 2020

October 19, 2020

Join us this week as we celebrate World Fish Migration Day 2020! Learn more about how NOAA helps migratory fish and communities by opening or improving access to river and stream habitat.

750x500shutterstock_666342400_04272019.jpg Atlantic salmon leaps upstream. Credit: Shutterstock

October 24, 2020 is World Fish Migration Day—a global celebration to raise awareness on the importance of free flowing 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

Building a Network of Restored Habitat in the Klamath River Watershed

Strategic habitat restoration projects across the Klamath River watershed are laying the groundwork for future dam removals.

Learn more about restoring habitat in the Klamath River Watershed

Aerial photo of the mouth of the Klamath River
Mouth of the Klamath River. (Photo: Thomas Dunklin)

Removing Dams and Replacing Culverts: Opening Up Miles of Habitat for Fish Migration

Oil spill settlement-funded projects opened up a river and streams, and restored wetland habitat in two northeast states. Fish haven't been able to access some of these areas for hundreds of years.

Learn more about projects to open up miles of habitat for fish migration

An excavator demolishing a dam.
Construction equipment removing the Horseshoe Mill Dam on the Weweantic River.

Return of Atlantic Sturgeon to Pee Dee River Signals Improved Health of Population

Tracking of endangered Atlantic sturgeon suggests successful spawning and population growth.

Learn more about Recent tracking of sturgeon in the Pee Dee River

David Hood of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and Fritz Rohde and Twyla Cheatwood of NOAA Fisheries, record measurements of the recaptured Atlantic sturgeon in the Pee Dee River. The fish measured 6 feet long, and weighed 90 pounds.
David Hood of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and Fritz Rohde and Twyla Cheatwood of NOAA Fisheries, record measurements of the recaptured Atlantic sturgeon in the Pee Dee River. The fish measured 6 feet long, and weighed 90 pounds. Credit: NOAA Fisheries.

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


Barriers to Fish Migration

One reason fish populations struggle is that barriers prevent them from reaching the upstream habitat where they breed and grow.

Learn why fish migration is important and what we’re doing to help

Before removal, the Tack Factory Dam in Norwell, MA

Improving Fish Migration at Hydropower Dams

When barriers such as hydropower dams block fish from migrating, their populations decline. Through its authorities under the Federal Power Act, NOAA Fisheries improves habitat by addressing fish passage at non-federal hydropower dams.

Learn how these efforts help recover threatened and endangered migratory fish and support the sustainability of economically important commercial and recreational fisheries

1_John Day Dam fishway 2.jpg
John Day Dam fishway

Successful Fish Passage Efforts Across the Nation

Through multiple programs and partnerships, NOAA Fisheries is leading the charge to open our nation’s rivers and streams by providing fish passage solutions.

Learn more about the benefits of opening rivers for fish and communities across the nation

Fish Migration - Penobscot River.png
East Branch Lake outlet on the Penobscot River

Meet Bjorn Lake, National Fish Passage Engineer

Bjorn Lake is a National Fish Passage Engineer at NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Learn how he spends his days designing new fish passage facilities, retrofitting old facilities, or inspecting operating fishways

Bjorn Lake.jpg

Penobscot River Salmon Run Surges for Second Straight Year

The Penobscot River hosts the largest remaining run of Atlantic salmon in the United States, however, numbers are just a fraction of what they used to be.

Learn how dam removals and fish passage improvements have helped these endangered fish return to Maine’s Penobscot River in encouraging numbers 

Atlantic salmon are endangered, with only a few runs remaining in Maine rivers.

First Reintroduced Salmon Return to California Rivers in a Critical Step Towards Recovery

California salmon reintroduced to their historic habitat as juveniles are, for the first time, returning to their home rivers to spawn.

Learn how their journey home demonstrates that fish reintroductions can successfully return Golden State salmon to restored rivers and streams in an important step toward their recovery

image1 (2).jpeg
Spring-run Chinook returning to the San Joaquin River for the first time in decades.


The Value of Opening Rivers for Fish

Millions of fish are blocked from reaching their native habitat to reproduce each year. These fish are crucial to the economy and communities across the nation.

Learn how NOAA helps migratory fish and communities by opening river and stream habitat


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 diagram


Open Rivers, Abundant Fish

This video explores the journeys of migratory fish from ocean to freshwater streams, which are often blocked by barriers like dams. NOAA is helping to remove these barriers and open passage upstream, so that fish can reach their spawning  grounds.


    Rivers Full of Fish Webinar

    On October 22, 2020, NOAA is joining leaders and river-advocates from around North America in a two-part live webinar celebration of free-flowing rivers!

    Register here to learn about the latest projects, approaches, and research in river restoration in North America

    fish migration 1170x780 -fish leap up stream AK.jpg