Non-Federal Dams & Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Licensing

The Federal Power Act requires hydropower project owners to obtain a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). That act authorizes NOAA Fisheries Service to issue mandatory improvements for fish passage and to recommend other measures to protect salmon, steelhead, and other ESA-listed fish.

NOAA biologists and engineers participate in numerous FERC re-licensing projects on the West Coast, many of which lack adequate facilities for safe fish passage. Our biologists and bio-engineering staff set fish standards for downstream and upstream passage, and work collaboratively with project owners to design fish passage solutions based on the unique conditions of each river. State of the art fish passage facilities help fish pass dams in a manner that is more aligned with their natural behavior.


Mid-Columbia Public Utility Districts


Fish passage Criteria 1.3MB

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission