Grants for high priority fish passage and screening projects

SALEM, Ore. — An allocation of $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds and $4.41 million in additional funds from an ODFW-ODOT fish passage restoration agreement provides a chance to tackle high priority fish passage and screening projects to help Oregon’s native fish.

In early January 2023, ODFW expects to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for projects that maximize fish restoration and support fish recovery goals, with RFPs likely due on Jan. 31, 2023.

Water users like irrigation districts, municipal suppliers, commercial industries, watershed councils, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and individual users are encouraged to apply.

Applicants interested in securing funds for projects should start putting together applications now including a project budget, description of the fish restoration value, overall priority of the project, available match, and detailed project proposal. Applicants also must document the cooperation and permission from all pertinent landowners and water users.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss potential projects with ODFW’s fish screening and passage staff prior to submission if they have questions or to review project value and implementation plans.

Eligibility criteria:

Must be a high priority fish passage or screening project
Must have a signed landowner agreement prior to approval
Projects associated with fulfilling mitigation requirements will not be accepted
Must identify how passage and screening will be maintained after implementation
Funds are focused on projects that:

Support projects described in a Conservation and Recovery Plan
Are listed on the ODFW Statewide Fish Passage Priority List
Benefit ESA and State Sensitive listed species
Provide access or improved access to a large quantity of high-quality habitat
Fish screens must meet current fish screening criteria
Provide a timeline, including permit acquisition, that results in project implementation by Dec.31, 2024