Precise analysis of the performance characteristics for small hydro power plants must be carefully considered to develop hydro power resources effectively. In order to achieve this objective, the performance characteristics of two existing small hydro power plants located in Han-river system and Keum-river system were analyzed. Also, based on the results analyzed from this study, rational operation methods were suggested. The performance characteristics such as annual average load factor and annual average electricity production were analyzed by using performance prediction model developed for two existing small hydro power plants located in Han-river system and Keum-river system. Also, the hydrological characteristics such as flow discharge - water level relation and rainfall - flow discharge relation were analyzed. And the rational operation method of small hydro power plants was suggested by analyzing operation records. (author). refs., figs., tabs.