The Fisheries Act and the Policy for the Management of Fish Habitat provide DFO with a significant role in the conservation and protection of Canadian waters. If you are planning a project which may impede fish passage, change water flow in a watercourse, impact fish habitat, or kill fish by means other than fishing, you may need to contact your local DFO office for a project review. Before you get too far in the project planning, make sure that you are clear as to which process you need to follow to be in compliance with your legal requirements.
For a number of routine projects that pose little risk to fish habitat, DFO's Habitat Management Program developed Operational Statements to assist with project planning and with project plan reviews by DFO staff and other resource management agencies. For these low risk works, acceptable practices are outlined in each Operational Statement. You may proceed with your project without a DFO review when you meet the conditions and Measures to Protect Fish and Fish Habitat found within the applicable Operational Statement.
If there is no Operational Statement developed for your type of project or if you are unable to comply with the conditions and measures found within the Operational Statements, you should submit your project to DFO for review and possible authorization.