Lake and Streambed Alteration Program

Fish Swimming
mountain stream
fish close up
Stream
Foothill yellow-legged frog
Desert wash
lake

link opens in new windowFish and Game Code section 1602 requires any person, state or local governmental agency, or public utility to notify CDFW prior to beginning any activity that may do one or more of the following:

  • Divert or obstruct the natural flow of any river, stream, or lake;
  • Change the bed, channel, or bank of any river, stream, or lake;
  • Use material from any river, stream, or lake; or
  • Deposit or dispose of material into any river, stream, or lake.

Please note that "any river, stream, or lake" includes those that are dry for periods of time as well as those that flow year round. If you are not certain a particular activity requires notification, CDFW recommends you notify.

CDFW requires a Lake and Streambed Alteration(LSA) Agreement when a project activity may substantially adversely affect fish and wildlife resources.

Online Submittal

Online notification through the Environmental Permit Information Management System (EPIMS) Permitting Portal is currently limited to Cannabis Cultivation Projects. Non-Cannabis projects must notify by paper submittal.

  • If you believe your Cannabis Cultivation project will not substantially modify any river, stream, or lake, you may complete the online self-certification. CDFW will review the information you submit and determine whether you need to submit a notification.
  • Notifications requesting a General Agreement for Activities Related to Cannabis Cultivation (General Agreement) must use the online submittal process.
  • Notifications for Cannabis Cultivation projects requesting a Standard Agreement must use the online submittal process.

Before you begin the online notification, learn more about cannabis cultivation permitting.

Important! link opens in new windowEPIMS Permitting Portal Instructions (PDF)

Visit the EPIMS webpage for more information on submitting a notification through the EPIMS Permitting Portal or if you need to contact our EPIMS Help Desk.

Paper Submittal

Notify CDFW

Notifications for Standard Agreements will be accepted through CDFW’s new online Environmental Permit Information Management System (EPIMS) beginning August 1, 2020. As CDFW transitions to EPIMS, CDFW will continue to accept paper notifications for Standard Agreements through August 2020. All applications received on or after September 1, 2020, must be submitted through the EPIMS Permitting Portal.

 

Additional Forms

Fees​

CDFW is not required to determine whether an LSA notification is complete or otherwise begin processing the notification until the correct CDFW regional office has received the notification and correct notification fee.

Pay by Credit Card

NOTE: If paying the LSA fee online, the credit card transaction will include a 5% handling fee that is not refundable.

Cannabis

Cannabis cultivators applying for an link opens in new windowAnnual License from the link opens in new windowCalifornia Department of Food and Agriculture must have an LSA Agreement or written verification that one is not needed.

Resources

Technical Resources

Informational Resources

For project and site specific LSA questions, contact the CDFW Region where the project is located.

Email the LSA Program Headquarters