What this permitting pathway covers

Regional General Permit (RGP) 16 authorizes activities in waters of the United States for anadromous salmonid fisheries restoration projects under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.


This RGP authorizes work within navigable waters of the U.S. or the permanent or temporary discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S. associated with salmonid habitat restoration activities funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP) or similar activities, regardless of funding source, that meet the terms and conditions of this RGP. Maintenance of the restoration work is also authorized under this RGP when such maintenance requires a DA permit.

Compensatory mitigation is not required for activities authorized under this RGP since these activities must be restoration or enhancement in nature, resulting in an overall net increase in aquatic resource functions and services. The conversion of waters from one type to another is authorized as long as there is an overall net increase in aquatic resource functions and services.

All activities authorized under this RGP must be restoration or enhancement in nature, resulting in an overall increase of aquatic functions and services. Activities resulting in a loss of aquatic functions and services, or requiring compensatory mitigation, are not authorized under this RGP. The permittee must justify that the proposed long-term benefits would outweigh any short term adverse effects.

Applicable locations

This Regional General Permit (RGP) covers the range of salmon and steelhead habitat in the Central Valley, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta), and Suisun Bay within the boundaries of the Sacramento and San Francisco Districts, as identified in Figure 1. The permit area includes portions of the following 27 counties: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba Counties.

Permit documents

Expires on

July 11, 2024

How to apply

Regulatory Division
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1350
Sacramento, California 95814-2922
Email: CESPK-REGULATORY-INFO@usace.army.mil
Phone: 916-557-5250

May be used with:

Example projects

Activities covered

Impacts to waters of the U.S. related to the following activities may be authorized under this RGP:

  1. Fish Passage Improvements at Stream Crossings: This activity type is specifically focused on improving salmonid access to spawning and rearing areas by removing or improving man-made barriers at stream crossings. Man-made crossings over or through a stream channel include, but are not limited to, paved or unpaved roads, railroads, trails and paths, Arizona crossings, bridges, and box, pipe, or concrete culverts and baffles. Improved crossings must be a minimum of the full
    width of the active channel and designed to pass the 100-year storm flow.
  2. Instream Barrier Modification for Fish Passage: This activity type would modify or remove barriers to salmonid fish passage such as, grade control structures (weirs), flashboard dams, dams, debris basins, water diversion structures, pilings, and log debris accumulations. Natural features such as logjams, beaver dams, landslides, and waterfalls are also included when they impede fish passage to previously accessible habitat and the removal of such would provide a clear benefit to salmonids.
  3. Instream Habitat Restoration: This activity type includes habitat restoration work in stream channels and floodplains. Restoration activities include installation of large wood, root wads, boulder features and weirs, gravel augmentation, side channel construction, and floodplain connectivity projects such as off-channel features and floodplain grading projects. Projects should be designed with physical and biological processes in mind and structures should mimic natural self-sustaining examples to the extent possible. Ecological reference sites, or a review by a qualified professional, must be provided for all created instream structures.
  4. Riparian Restoration: This activity type would restore riparian and salmonid habitat through increased stream shading, future vegetation recruitment, bank stability, and increased invertebrate production. This activity type also includes the eradication of non-native, invasive vegetation and revegetation with native endemic riparian species. The riparian area is defined as the area between a stream and the adjacent upland, including wetlands and those portions of floodplains and valley bottoms that support riparian vegetation.
  5. Instream Bank Stabilization: This activity type would reduce sediment from bank erosion by stabilizing stream banks with appropriate site-specific techniques. Possible bank stabilization techniques include boulder stabilization structures, log stabilization structures, tree revetment, native plant material revetment, willow wall revetment, willow siltation baffles, brush mattresses, check dams, brush check dams, water bars, and exclusionary fencing. Eligible bank stabilization projects include stabilization of eroding, collapsing, or otherwise destabilized banks, and also includes stabilization to sustain instream habitat restoration projects and/or protect nearby structures that may be impacted by the restoration project.
  6. Fish Screening of Diversions: This activity type would install, upgrade, or modify fish screens, and associated fill material, that physically prevent entrainment, injury, or death of targeted aquatic species. Fish screens may be installed at either a pump or gravity-fed water diversion and are designed to minimize stress and injury that occur when fish impact the screen or are subjected to changes in water velocity and direction caused by the diversion. All screens must meet the current National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) fish screening criteria, as required by the August 31, 2018, NMFS Biological Opinion (Number WCR-2017-8532). Approved fish screens include both self-cleaning and non-self-cleaning screens.
  7. Water Conservation Measures: This activity type would conserve water and increase instream flow and/or improve instream water quality that benefit aquatic species. Potential activities include modifications of water diversions, moving points of diversion, and piping when the water savings are quantified and dedicated for instream beneficial flows.


In accordance with 33 CFR 322.2(f)(1), this RGP authorizes activities that are substantially similar in nature that would result in minimal individual and cumulative impacts on the aquatic environment, when conducted under the terms and conditions of this RGP.


  • Activities resulting in a loss of aquatic functions and services, or requiring compensatory mitigation, are not authorized under this RGP.
  • This RGP does not authorize direct or indirect impacts to habitat for federally-listed vernal pool species.