Fish passage resources
IntroductionThese case studies, factsheets and other publications contain information and guidance to inform fish passage management in New Zealand.
New Zealand fish passage guidelines
Recommended best practice for designing instream structures to provide for fish passage.
Fish Passage Assessment Tool (FPAT)
This is an app and website to record and assess instream structures and their impact on fish passage. The information is also added to a database that is accessible to the public.
The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) has endorsed this tool, is encouraging its use and is hosting and supporting its improvement and maintenance.
Here's a basic user guide factsheet and a video on freshwater fish, the problem with in-stream barriers and how to use the fish passage assessment tool.
Additional guidance is available on the Ministry for the Environment's fish passage hub on how to use this tool to meet the requirements under the fish passage NPS-FM and NES-F.
Lessons learnt case studies
These case studies provide examples of a range of fish passage problems and solutions at different structures. They provide information and guidance on how different approaches were designed and installed, monitoring results, and lessons learnt.
- Installation of a fish ramp and baffles to restore fish passage at a perched culvert (PDF, 344K)
- Installation of mussel spat rope to retrofit a perched culvert to improve passage for climbing fish (PDF, 541K)
- Placement of downstream rock weir and installation of culvert baffles to enable salmonid passage (PDF, 280K)
- Installation of a fish pass and baffles to promote trout passage through long perched culverts (PDF, 274K)
- Fish friendly gate installation at Whakatane's Awatapu Lagoon facilitates upstream fish passage (PDF, 556K)
- Fish passage facilitation by increasing flow and mussel spat rope installation on a dam spillway (PDF, 385K)
- Retrofitting weirs to create fish ramps in Gibbons Creek, Hamilton (PDF, 372K)
- Installation of Flexi-baffles to restore fish passage in a very long culvert (PDF, 1,014K)
- Ford removal and replacement with a bridge (PDF, 383K)
- Installation of mussel spat rope and rubber apron to improve passage past a highly perched culvert (PDF, 358K)
- Installation of floating fish ramp to provide passage for inanga (PDF, 360K)
Fish passage remediation video examples:
- Full rock ramp installation on a conventional weir in Taranaki
- Weir removal - in Taranaki and the story behind it
If you have an example of fish passage remediation that might make a good lessons learnt case study, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education and advocacy
These are some great resources that can be used to learn more about fish passage.
- Wonderful whitebait kids activity sheet (PDF, 3087)
- Awesome eels kids activity sheet (PDF, 661K)
- Salmon quest activity sheet (PDF, 6,740K)
- The Fish Highway Ministry of Education
- Freshwater eels resources Conservation Volunteers NZ
NZFPAG fish passage factsheets
- Improving fish passage at pump stations (PDF, 543K)
- Using spoiler baffles to improve fish passage (PDF, 845K)
- Temporary culverts and fish passage (PDF, 433K)
- How to fix fish passage barriers at existing instream structures (PDF, 754K)
- Considering fish passage in the design of new instream structures (PDF, 452K)
- Ministry for the Environment's fish passage hub – Resources to aid implementation of the requirements for fish passage under the NPS-FM and NES-F
- Factsheet: Provisions relating to fish passage in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater 2020 and the National Environment Standards for Freshwater
- Fish friendly culverts and rock ramps (2003) Greater Wellington Regional Council (PDF, 603K)
- Fish Passage in New Zealand Rivers, understanding fish habitat and simple solutions to allow fish passage over weirs, fords, bridge aprons and through culverts, Cawthron Institute (PDF, 853K)
- Environment Waikato Best Practice Guidelines for Waterway Crossings (2006) by D Speirs and G Ryan (PDF, 1,168K)
- Appropriate use of mussel spat ropes to facilitate passage for stream organisms (2014) by David, B. Hamer, M., Tonkin, J. Bourke, C. Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2014/29 (PDF, 2,364K)
- Fish Passage Management Symposium 2013 - presentations and proceedings report
- 2023 -Toward national guidance for fish screen facilities to ensure safe passage for freshwater fishes.
- Fish Screen facility guidance tool (see link on Fish Screens : IrrigationNZ)
- Policy and Practice guidance for fish screening facilities
- IrrigationNZ Summary: Adoption of Good Practice Fish Screening 2023 update and other project updates/guidance
- Good practice fish screening project updates – Irrigation NZ
- Fish Screening, good practice guidelines for Canterbury (2007) by D Jamieson, M Bonnett, D Jellyman and M Unwin, NIWA (PDF, 2,341K)
- Appendix 1: Native fish requirements for water intakes in Canterbury (PDF, 1,211K)
- Appendix 2: Criteria for fish screen design in Canterbury for sports fish (PDF, 159K)
- Appendix 3: Fish protection at water diversions (PDF, 34,576K)
- Appendix 4: Fish protection technologies and downstream fishways (PDF, 37,400K)
- Appendix 5: Screening for intakes and outfalls: a best practice guide (PDF, 3,672K)
These resources are not specific to New Zealand fish but contain general information about good fish passage management.
- From Sea To Source website
- Stream Simulation: and ecological approach to providing passage for aquatic organisms at road-stream crossings (2008) US Department of Agriculture (PDF, 31,020K)
- Environment Agency Fish Pass Manual (2010) England and Wales
- Fish Passes: design, dimensions and monitoring (2002) German Assn for Water Resources and Land Improvement
- Culvert Fishway Planning and Design Guidelines (2010) James Cook University, Australia (PDF, 155K)
- Fish Passage Barrier and Surface Water Diversion Screening Assessment and Prioritisation Manual (2009) Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (PDF, 10,063K)
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2002). Fish Passes – Design, Dimensions and Monitoring. Report produced in arrangement with Deutscher Verband für Wasserwirtschaft und Kulturbau e.V. (DVWK). Rome, 119p. ISBN 92-5-1048940
- Culvert design for Aquatic Organism Passage, Hydraulic Engineering Circular Number 26, FHWA-HIF-11-008 October 2010 (PDF, 9,097K)
- Hydraulic design of Highway Culverts, Third Edition, FHWA-HIF-12-026 HDS 5 (PDF, 48,141K)