WSDOT and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have worked cooperatively on a program since 1991 to inventory and correct fish barrier culverts on our highway system. Most culverts were installed decades before we knew about the needs of fish. Removing these barriers increases access to critical spawning and rearing habitat.
BEFORE AND AFTER EXAMPLES OF FISH BARRIER CORRECTIONS
RANGE OF FISH BARRIER CORRECTIONS
WDFW has inventoried WSDOT’s 7,045 miles of right-of-way and identified 6,469 culverts. Of those culverts on WSDOT-owned right of way:
- 3,185 are on fish-bearing stream crossings, of which
- 1,859 cause fish passage problems (28%), of which
- 1,440 have potentially significant habitat gain (21%):
WSDOT and WDFW are prioritizing these 1,440 culverts which would provide the largest habitat gains for the greatest number of “at-risk” fish species for the best value
Barrier corrections are either funded as “stand-alone” corrections, or are combined with safety and mobility projects and completed with funding from the Nickel and TPA packages, as well as other funding sources (Salmon Recovery Board, local funding).