Completed Actions

  • In 2016, The Nature Conservancy launched the Chesapeake Bay Fish Passage Prioritization Tool to help natural resource managers identify the fish passage restoration projects that would most benefit migratory and resident fish. The tool also allows users to develop custom management scenarios and model the potential effects of a fish passage restoration projects at a given dam.
  • In May 2017, the Fish Passage Workgroup gained formal Chesapeake Bay Program acceptance of the methodology behind the “miles opened” metric to support its definition of an upstream functional network.
  • In February and October of 2017, partners held the first and second meetings of the Pennsylvania Aquatic Connectivity Team.
  • Partners have supported the removal of the Centreville Dam along a tributary to the Corsica River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the Monumental Mills Dam along Hazel River in Culpepper County, Virginia. In addition, six dams have been removed in Pennsylvania: Dugan Run, Wildcat Run, the Camp Michaux Lower Dam, the Eckenrode Mills Dam, the Mountain Springs Dam 2 and the Solomons Creek Dam.

Watershed-Wide Actions


  • Supporting dam removal projects, including the removal of Bloede Dam.
  • Establishing or continuing relationships with state dam safety programs to coordinate dam removal work.
  • Monitoring all dam removals funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the presence or absence of target fish species.

January – June 2016

  • Developing and testing environmental DNA tools to detect river herring presence in frozen and freshly collected water samples.
  • Identifying additional high-priority watersheds in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia in which to focus fish passage efforts.

July – December 2017

  • Conducting culvert and bridge assessments in high-priority sub-watersheds to determine the extent of road- and rail-related fish passage blockages, adding new information to the Chesapeake Bay Fish Passage Prioritization Tool.

Actions in Maryland

  • Pursuing a dam removal incentive program. (December 2017)

Actions in Pennsylvania

  • Hold regular meetings (at least once each year) of the Pennsylvania Aquatic Connectivity Team to support the efficient acquisition of funding and partners. (Ongoing)

Actions in Virginia

  • Conducting boat electrofishing upstream of the Embrey Dam and Harvell Dam removals. (Ongoing)
  • Conducting annual backpack electrofishing at Claiborne Run nature-like fishway and White Oak Run pool and weir fishway. (Ongoing)
  • Conducting an annual American shad count at Bosher’s Vertical Slot Fishway. (Ongoing)
  • Determining the origin (hatchery versus wild) of juvenile American shad in the James River. (Ongoing)