Policy Watch

On May 16, 2018, ASA joined Tuolumne River Trust, Golden Gate Salmon Association, Friends of the River, Golden West Women Flyfishers, CA Sportfishing Protection Alliance, and Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations in sending a letter of opposition to an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that would prohibit the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) from prescribing fish passage on the Tuolumne River in California.

This opposition letter explains that Section 18 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) allows NMFS to prescribe fish passage at hydropower facilities under certain conditions, or to reserve its authority to do so. NMFS has reserved this authority on the Tuolumne River until 2025 based on its analysis of the best available scientific information and the well-being of our nation’s marine resources.

In other parts of the country, NMFS has accomplished important fish passage projects through use of its authority, usually accompanied by settlement agreements. Numerous river reaches in the Pacific Northwest previously impeded by hydropower dams have seen successful reintroduction of salmon and steelhead, to the great benefit of recreational and commercial fisheries stakeholders and ASA is hopeful that this will continue to be the trend in the region.

For more information, please contact Vice President of Government Affairs, Scott Gudes.