In 2011, 148 miles of fish passage were restored. This brings the total to 2,510 miles, or 88 percent of the goal.
Dams, culverts and other barriers block migratory fish from reaching their spawning grounds and reduce habitat for local fish in streams, creeks and rivers. These barriers are being removed or new lifts, ladders and passageways are being installed to allow fish to swim upstream.
Priority is given to fish passage restoration projects that open large stretches of habitat, remove dams, enhance migratory fish passage, and remove impediments in streams that were previously affected by acid mine drainage. Many of these projects also restore the flow of waterways and reduce sediment accumulation.
Amount completed since 1988 (baseline year)
Amount completed since 2000
Amount completed in 2010
Dams, culverts and other obstructions currently block more than one thousand miles of fish spawning habitat on Bay tributaries. Anadromous fish, such as American shad and river herring, must have access to freshwater streams and rivers. Fish passages help these fish swim past dams and other blockages to reach upstream freshwater spawning habitat.
The Bay Program’s fish passage efforts are long-standing and generally successful.
Chesapeake Bay Program Office