Fishes migrate up and down streams for reproduction in both sea and freshwater ecosystems over their life cycle. Over the last decades, fish passages have been provided to mitigate the adverse impacts induced by barriers. However, what is the proper type of fish passage and how to guarantee the effectiveness of operation are still under discussion. In this paper, global and China's policies on fish passages are reviewed. The development and main contents of relevant instruments are analyzed. The similarities and differences between China and foreign countries are compared, and issues in the fish protection and fish passages' management in China are identified. The results show that global policies on fish passages varied from local governments to continents. The design, operation, and management of fish passages are popular throughout the world. Duplication of authorities' responsibilities is the most critical issue in China. The paper recommends implementing a plan of environmental protection at watershed scale, and strengthening the monitoring of fish passages' operation and management. Further development directions of policies on fish passages' management have been proposed. The paper may help facilitate national policies on fish passages by integrating the effective measures of global experience.