Distinguished Project in Fisheries Engineering and Ecohydrology Award

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The Distinguished Project in Fisheries Engineering and Ecohydrology Award recognizes a project for a multidisciplinary approach to collaboration, innovation, education, and improved ecological value for passage of aquatic and anadromous species. An ideal project for the award would be small to medium in size that exemplifies success and inspires greater application of fish passage restoration. The successful project and leaders will receive official recognition, tokens of appreciation, and presentation of the award at the Fish Passage 2015 conference in Groningen, The Netherlands. The winning project will also be featured on the AFS and ASCE-EWRI websites. It is requested that a representative of the winning project be present to receive the award and give a brief presentation at the banquet held at Fish Passage 2015.

Specific project evaluation criteria include:

  • Stakeholder collaboration and community based support
  • Ecological gain for passage and habitat for endangered and native species
  • Education and public involvement
  • Effective application of resources (financial and matching)
  • Innovation and technical excellence
  • Implementation according to design intent and adaptive to field conditions
  • Inspirational value
  • Demonstrated performance to meet passage and habitat goals through the use of a monitoring system

The Project description on this nomination form should include:

  • Watershed location and ecological zone of improvements
  • Extents of species and ecological zones benefited
  • Summary of the stakeholders involved and the collaboration process that was used across diverse groups (federal, state, local, non-profit, communities)
  • Synopsis of research, planning, design, implementation, and monitoring process
  • Description of ecological success to date and probable trajectory
  • Project cost (if possible)
  • Time and resources to monitor and evaluate if the project is meeting its stated goals

Past Winners

This is the third year the award will be presented.

Last year's winner was the project titled "Acushnet River Fish Passage Restoration". The award was presented to the following organizations: NOAA Restoration Center, EA Engineering, Science and Technology, Inc., US Fish and Wildlife Service, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Buzzards Bay Coalition, US Geological Survey, The New Bedford Harbor Trustee Council, and the Town of Acushnet. The project in Acushnet, Massachusetts improved diadromous fish passage from the head-of-tide to more than 200 acres of prime freshwater spawning ponds 3.8 miles upstream. The project’s innovative approach to fish passage was successful and has resulted in a more than 1800% increase of river herring (Alosa pseudoharengus and A. aestivalis) being able to access the spawning ponds over preconstruction conditions. Prior to the project, diadromous fish in the Acushnet River negotiated three dams fitted with failing fishways on their journey to the spawning ponds.

Two years ago the winner was the project titled "Development and Application of the Uniform Acceleration Bypass Weir for Downstream Passage at Dams and Water Intakes". Project leaders were Alex Haro, Theodore Castro-Santos, and John Noreika (Conte Anadromous Fish Research Laboratory, U. S. Geological Survey); George Hecker and Steve Amaral (Alden Research Laboratory); Robert Stira (Firstlight Power Resources); and Lynn Reese (U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District).


All projects related to fish passage and habitat, ranging from small to medium in size. The project elements could include research, planning, design, outreach, education, implementation, and monitoring. Nominations must be submitted before April 15, 2015.


The winning project will be selected by the EWRI-AFS Joint Committee on Fisheries Engineering and Science. Priority will be given to projects that have demonstrated effectiveness and fulfillment of restoration goals, as illuminated by a well-designed monitoring plan and system. The winning project is scheduled to be notified by April 30, 2015. Representative(s) of the project will be requested to receive the award at the Banquet for the 2015 Fish Passage Conference and provide a brief presentation.

Nominating Procedure