Anadromous Fish Conservation Act, United States

Source: Crs::USFWS

The Anadromous Fish Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 757a-757g; Pub. L. 89-304, as amended) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce, along with the Secretary of Interior, or both, to enter into cooperative agreements to protect anadromous and Great Lakes fishery resources.

Although the term "anadromous" refers only to those fish that spawn in freshwater and live most of their lives in saltwater, it is often used interchangeably with "diadromous." The term "diadromous" refers to any fish that migrate between saltwater and freshwater. Examples of fish affected by this law are salmon and Atlantic striped bass.

Implemention of this Anadromous Fish Conservation Act occurs through the National Marine Fisheries Service within the U.S. Department of Commerce and through the Fish and Wildlife Service within the U.S. Department of the Interior.

To conserve, develop, and enhance anadromous fisheries, the fisheries which the United States has agreed to conserve through international agreements, and the fisheries of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, the Secretary may enter into agreements with States and other non-Federal interests.

An agreement must specify:

  1. the actions to be taken;
  2. the benefits expected;
  3. the estimated costs;
  4. the cost distribution between the involved parties;
  5. the term of the agreement;
  6. the terms and conditions for disposal of property acquired by the Secretary; and
  7. any other pertinent terms and conditions.

Pursuant to the agreements authorized under the Act, the Secretary may:

  1. conduct investigations, engineering and biological surveys, and research;
  2. carry out stream clearance activities;
  3. undertake actions to facilitate the fishery resources and their free migration;
  4. use fish hatcheries to accomplish the purposes of this Act;
  5. study and make recommendations regarding the development and management of streams and other bodies of water consistent with the intent of the Act;
  6. acquire lands or interest therein;
  7. accept donations to be used for acquiring or managing lands or interests therein; and
  8. administer such lands or interest therein in a manner consistent with the intent of this Act.

Following the collection of these data, the Secretary makes recommendations pertaining to the elimination or reduction of polluting substances detrimental to fish and wildlife in interstate or navigable waterways. Joint NMFS-FWS regulations applicable to this program are published in 50 C.F.R. Part 401.

Further Reading

See also environmental laws of United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Disclaimer: This article is taken wholly from, or contains information that was originally published by, the Congressional Research Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Topic editors and authors for the Encyclopedia of Earth may have edited its content or added new information. The use of information from the Congressional Research Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should not be construed as support for or endorsement by that organization for any new information added by EoE personnel, or for any editing of the original content.

Note: The first version of this article was drawn from material prepared for the Congressional Research Service by Eugene H. Buck.



(2009). Anadromous Fish Conservation Act, United States. Retrieved from


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