Mactaquac Aquatic Ecosystem Study Report Series 2021- 077, A Framework for Functional Fish Passage Decision Making

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Canada Rivers Institute


This report provides recommendations and proposes a framework to support objective and consistent fish passage decision-making at large barriers in rivers. The recommendations are based on the science compiled from a broad jurisdictional review of published literature, grey literature, and discussions with fish passage experts and decision-makers. Specifically, this report summarizes the key challenges, uncertainties, and opportunities outlined in contemporary fish passage research. A series of biological questions are proposed to help decision-makers determine what species should be passed at a barrier, if any, and how many. The report advocates for the use of structured decision-making to support of a quantitative analysis of management options, one that embraces the uncertainty of unknown biological consequences and also promotes the inclusion of differing views from rightsholders and stakeholders. The recommendations in this report integrate emerging fish passage considerations into a decision-making framework that promotes a multi-species, functional fish passage approach. This report does not advocate for specific goals related to fish passage at the Mactaquac Generating Station (MQGS). Rather, this report strives to provide a framework for making fish passage decisions at the MQGS and large barriers in general. We propose an adaptive management planning process that utilizes key biological questions to assess the outcomes of management options against defined goals and objectives using a quantitative approach.