Fish Passage in Georgia: Planning for the Future

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McKay, S. Kyle
Batt, Lynnette
Bringolf, Robert B.
Davie, Steven R.
Elkins, Duncan
Hoenke, Kathleen
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In 14 major watersheds and thousands of miles of rivers, Georgia’s waterways provide some of the highest levels of aquatic biodiversity in the United States. Hydrologic disconnection by dams, roads, water diversions, and other barriers have led to local declines in both migratory and resident fishes. To counteract these trends, numerous organizations and stakeholders have invested in fish passage structures and dam removal. Techniques for prioritizing barrier improvement, measuring passage efficacy, and designing passage structures are rapidly developing in both research and practice. We review the status of fish passage improvement in the state of Georgia as it relates to two key topics. First, what methods exist (or are being developed) to prioritize barrier improvement? Second, what lessons have been learned from recent fish passage and dam removal projects? We address these questions by way of example projects conducted by a variety of agencies and entities. We conclude by summarizing some emerging challenges and opportunities for future research in fish passage improvement.
Sponsored by: Georgia Environmental Protection Division; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Water Resources Institute; The University of Georgia, Water Resources Faculty.
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