that should be considered before
initiating any fish passage project:
all barriers are bad!
While removing barriers to fish migration at road crossings is important,there are situations where barrier removal may NOT be beneficial.
barriers at road crossings
may be keeping out
unwanted or harmful exotic
An example is the Atlantic sea lamprey that invaded the
Great Lakes and decimated fish populations. Sea lamprey spawn and develop
in streams before going downstream to the lakes to prey on rough and gamefish. Denying them access to spawning streams by installing low head
dams (barriers) is one common method of controlling lamprey populations. Some road
crossing barriers may currently be serving this function. It’s always
important to consult with federal or state natural resource officials before
planning any fish passage project.
Diseases of concern to fish health
and differences in fish population genetic structure above and below
barriers are also reasons why not all barriers are bad and why not all
should be removed.
Another very important consideration
is the potential for geomorphic effects, in particular, channel incision.
Channel incision or down-cutting of the streambed tends to propagate
upstream by means of migration of a headcut. Often, this headcut
migration is arrested when it encounters a culvert. If the culvert is
replaced, the headcut may then proceed onward upstream, spreading channel
incision, and inducing a period of channel destabilization and habitat
here to review
the document (pdf) Geomorphologic Impacts of Culvert Replacement and
Removal: Avoiding Channel Incision.
isn’t just fish that you are helping!
Culverts also provide moist shady habitats and
pathways and may serve as
homes for frogs, toad’s, snakes,
mink, otter and
a host of other desirable species.
Work sites at culverts can be dark, wet/slippery and hazardous. Exercise caution, wear protective gear
and be aware of dangers. The rusted and jagged metal edges shown in
this image are typical hazards often found in culvert restoration projects.
There are a number of safety issues
that must be considered when performing earthmoving & culvert
• Mobile equipment working near
• Control of traffic near work areas.
• Shoring & bracing during trenching operations.
• Stability of backhoe/excavator during operation: use of outriggers &
• Working around heavy equipment: pinch points and staying in view of
• Proper hand signals for equipment operators.
• Lifting loads: cable/sling inspections and load ratings, proper
hookups and working near overhead loads.
• Proper use of hand tools.
• Physical hazards: proper lifting techniques, sprains, cuts &
• Hazards of working outdoors: working in cold environments, heat
illness, sunburn, insect bites, ticks, poison ivy and snakes.
• Environmental hazards: slippery and wet conditions, working on
slopes and in stream beds.
• Review Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) requirements.
• Follow all OSHA standards.
Each specific project may have a
number of safety related hazards. Therefore, a preliminary construction
project safety review is necessary. Be aware of the potential worksite
hazards, and take the proper steps to prevent accidents and injuries.
of critters in the work place!
Some culvert users may have a bad
attitude…. click image to enlarge.