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Fish Passage at Dams Strategic Analysis

Fish passage describes the ability of fish to move upstream and downstream to find suitable habitat and breeding grounds. While unimpeded fish movement in rivers was recognized as important well over 150 years ago, technology development to effectively pass fish around or through dams has been slow, with much trial and error. The topic of fish passage at dams has become increasingly complex and controversial, involving many department programs.

This strategic analysis is an informational document for the public, the department and natural resource policy makers to better understand the topic and to aid in the crafting of future fish passage initiatives. It summarizes our best current information on fish passage, the known and possible environmental impacts, applicable regulations and potential policy approaches.

Feedback and public review of the strategic analysis

The public was invited to comment on this strategic analysis from August 29 to Oct. 16, 2017. A summary of public comments and department responses is included in the final strategic analysis. Thanks to all who commented!

Strategic analysis process

A strategic analysis evaluates factual information to inform policies and approaches for contentious resource issues. This process is outlined in Chapter NR 150, Wis. Adm. Code.

The purpose of the analysis is to inform future discussions and decisions.

This strategic analysis followed these general steps.

  1. Public announcement and scoping to define the topics and information sources to be considered and the analytical methods to be employed. This step included public input and consultation with other agencies and tribal authorities.
  2. Information gathering and analysis.
  3. Document preparation.
  4. Public review - at least 45 days was allotted for public review of the analysis.
  5. Comment response - the department considered all comments received.
  6. The final version of the analysis document and all comments and supporting information is available to the public. < we are here
Contact information
For more information about this strategic analysis, please contact:

Jim Doperalski
Environmental Analysis and Review Specialist
Environmental Analysis and Sustainability program