Stream Crossings

Activities Requiring a Fish Habitat Permit

Fish Habitat Permit Application & Instructions (PDF 69 kB)

Crossing streams or rivers may be necessary for cross-country equipment moves, gravel extraction, historical RS2477 trail crossings, or access for other reasons. If there are known anadromous fish populations in the stream being crossed, the physical act of driving through the gravels can potentially affect sensitive life stages of fish (e.g., salmon eggs, juvenile salmon, overwintering resident fish).

Many commonly used crossing locations are permitted with General Permits.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Habitat staff can help you to determine if your crossing will need to be permitted or not. Please contact the Habitat office closest to your location if your crossing area is not permitted by a General Permit.

Stipulations that may be included in a permit issued for stream crossings include:

  • No cross-channel structure shall be constructed in this waterbody.
  • In-stream activity in the XX, except for XX, is prohibited.
  • Equipment crossings shall be made from bank to bank in a direction substantially perpendicular to the direction of stream flow.
  • Equipment crossings shall be made only at locations with gradually sloping banks. There shall be no crossings at locations with sheer or cut banks.
  • Banks shall not be altered or disturbed in any way to facilitate crossings. If stream banks are inadvertently disturbed, they shall be immediately stabilized to prevent erosion.
  • No fill material shall be placed in XX Creek.
  • Crossing of XX Creek shall occur only at existing historical crossings.
  • Ice or snow bridges and approach ramps constructed at stream crossings must be substantially free of extraneous material (e.g., soil, rock, wood, or vegetation) and, if requested by Habitat, must be removed or breached before spring breakup.
  • To avoid additional freeze-down of deep-water pools harboring overwintering fish, watercourses shall be crossed at shallow riffle areas from point bar to point bar.
  • Compaction or removal of the insulating snowcover from the deep-water pool areas of rivers must be avoided. Habitat may authorize exceptions to this stipulation on a case-by-case basis if it determines the pool is deep enough to prevent complete freeze-down.
Other Permitting Agencies Related Documents and Pages
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Fish Habitat Permit Application (PDF 69 kB)
Alaska Department of Natural Resources;
Division of Mining, Land and Water
Anadromous Waters Catalog
Catalog of Waters Important for the Spawning,
Rearing, or Migration of Anadromous Fish
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Special Areas Permit Application (PDF 134 kB)
U.S. Forest Service Culvert Application (PDF 94 kB)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ADF&G Streambank Restoration Guide
Kenai Multi-Agency Permitting NOAA Habitat Restoration