Fish passing through dams may be injured or killed despite advances in turbinedesign, project operations and other fish bypass systems. The six-degree-of-freedom (6DOF)Sensor Fish device is an autonomous sensor package that characterizes the physical conditionsand physical stresses to which fish are exposed when they pass through complex hydraulicenvironments. It has been used to identify the locations and operations where conditions aresevere enough to injure or kill fish. During the design process, a set of governing equationsof motion for the Sensor Fish was derived and simulated to understand the design implica-tions of instrument selection and placement within the body of the device. The Sensor Fishpackage includes three rotation sensors, three acceleration sensors, a pressure sensor, and atemperature sensor with a sampling frequency of 2,000 Hz. Its housing is constructed of clearpolycarbonate plastic. It is 24.5 mm in diameter and 90 mm in length and weighs about 43 g,similar to the size and density of a yearling salmon smolt. The accuracy of the pressure sensorwas determined to be within 0.2 psi. In laboratory acceptance tests, the relative errors of boththe linear acceleration and angular velocity measurements were determined to be less than5%. An exposure is defined as a significant event when the acceleration reaches predefinedthresholds. Based on the different characteristic of acceleration and rotation velocities, theexposure event is categorized as either a collision between the Sensor Fish and a solid struc-ture or shear caused by turbulence. Since its development in 2005, the 6DOF Sensor Fish hasbeen deployed successfully at many major dams in the United States.