Culvert project improves fish fry survival chances
Matt Gray | RBCA
The downstream end of the culvert stands ready for fry to swim through on their way out to the open ocean.
Fish fry have a better chance of survival after the completion of a fish passage culvert project.
On July 5 and 6 Metco completed the installation of the fish passage culvert on Timber Drive at the south end of Questa Woods Subdivision. Tom Gillespie’s crew installed the new culvert with minimum disturbance to the creek. Seven years ago the Kenai Watershed Forum surveyed Seward area creeks in order to add them to the Anadromous Waters Catalog and to find culverts that prevented fish passage. The group found that fish passage throuh the Timber Drive culvert was inhibited.
Matt Gray | RBCA
Backhoe excavates on the dowstream side in preparation for installing the culvert.
Recently KWF secured funding from federal, non-federal and borough sources to modify the culvert. KWF asked Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance to handle the ogistics involved with design, private property approval, obtaining permits, bidding and construction for the project.
The crew installed a 72-inch arched metal culvert adjacent to the old 24-inch culvert. Leaving the old culvert in place made the construction work easier and allowed reduced impacts to the creek (a small groundwater fed tributary to Salmon Creek).
Metco employed a few special techniques to install several inches of clean gravel and rock inside the new culvert so that it closely mimics a natural stream channel.
By late afternoon July 6 small salmon fry were seen swimming into the new culvert.
RBCA expects that upstream property owners will also benefit by the huge increase in stormwater flow that the new culvert will allow to pass, resulting in a reduction of flooded crawl spaces, which has been a problem in the area.