North Coast NMFS PBO

What this permitting pathway covers

The North Coast NMFS Programmatic Biological Opinion (PBO) provides coverage under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) species for projects in the North Coast region. Using this pathway is a faster and lower-cost process than writing an individual biological assessment and receiving a separate biological opinion for your project.

1.3.11. Protection, Avoidance and Minimization Measures

See the list of Prohibited Activities in Section Limits on Area of Disturbance for Stream Dewatering

A maximum of 1,000 contiguous feet of that stream reach may be dewatered at any given time. Other sections of stream within the same project area may be dewatered in up to 1,000-foot increments, as long as listed fish that were handled during the initial dewatering event are not handled during subsequent dewatering events during the same year. To avoid handling the same fish multiple times during sequenced dewatering events, fish must be relocated to suitable habitat conditions outside of the zone that could be dewatered during that season. In addition, for each dewatering and relocation event, sufficient field staff must be available to efficiently move and care for relocated fish. The fish relocation plan submitted prior to the event must describe this sufficiency. General Construction Season

The general construction season will be from June 15 to November 1. Restoration, construction, fish relocation, and dewatering activities within any wetted and/or flowing creek channel shall only occur within this period. Extensions to this work season can be granted if: 1. There is less than a 50% chance of 1.5 inches of rain predicted over any 24-hour period during the granted time extension, and 2. The RC determines, and NMFS confirms, that an extension will not result in effects that go beyond those analyzed during the ESA consultation on the Program, either in type or magnitude.

The measures below are from the following sections of the PBO:

  • General Conservation Measures – GPM-001 through GPM-010
  • Dewatering Activities and Fish Relocation Protection Measures – IWW-001 through IWW-009
  • In-water Pile Driving Activities and Protection Measures – IWW-010 through IWW-016
  • Vegetation/Habitat Disturbance Protection Measures – VHDR-001 through VHDR-005
  • Dredging Operation Protection Measures – IWW-017
  • Herbicide Use Protection Measures – VHDR-006 through VHDR-008

How to use this tool for the North Coast NMFS PBO

  • Use the questions below to filter the list of protection measures from the PBO based on the attributes of your project.
  • Once downloaded, closely review the list generated to ensure the measures apply to your project-specific conditions and propose modified measures as appropriate.
  • Contact Bob Pagliuco, Marine Habitat Resource Specialist at the NOAA Restoration Center (RC) at to discuss your project and applicable protection measures. Specific measures may be altered, added, or removed on an individual project basis with the approval of the NOAA RC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in coordination with NMFS West Coast Region California Coastal Office.
  • Pre-project submittal requirements include a description of applicable protection measures (also called “minimization and avoidance measures”) incorporated into the individual project.


Does your project involve in-water work?

Does your project involve cofferdams and/or dewatering?

Does your project involve pile driving?

Does your project involve dredging operations and/or dredging materials reuse?

Does your project involve vegetation disturbance?

Will this project be using herbicides?

List of Measures

Show all measures