The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have collaborated to develop passage design guidance for use by engineers and other restoration practitioners considering and designing nature‐like fishways (NLFs). The primary purpose of these guidelines is to provide a summary of existing fish swimming and leaping performance data and the best available scientific information on safe, timely and effective passage for 14 diadromous fish species using Atlantic Coast rivers and streams. These guidelines apply to passage sites where complete barrier removal is not possible. This technical memorandum presents seven key physical design parameters based on the biometrics and swimming mode and performance of each target fishes for application in the design of NLFs addressing passage of a species or an assemblage of these species. The passage parameters include six dimensional guidelines recommended for minimum weir opening width and depth, minimum pool length, width and depth, and maximum channel slope, along with a maximum flow velocity guideline for each species. While
these guidelines are targeted for the design of step‐pool NLFs, the information may also have application in the design of other NLF types being considered at passage restoration sites and grade control necessary for infrastructure protection upstream of some dam removals, and in considering passage performance at sites such as natural bedrock features.