Title

Salmonid Passage in Oak Creek Basin of Central Washington

Presenter Information

John Olsen
Michael Fox

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Culvert, Salmonid, Passage

Abstract

Aquatic organisms are facing threats due to increases in land and road development. Culverts provide passage for water, but may act as a barrier to aquatic organisms including endangered salmonid species. A culvert is defined as a crossing for stream water flow under a road, usually made of steel or aluminum. Culverts can increase the velocity of water flow, create large drops into stream pools and cause debris build up which all affect the ability for aquatic organisms to move upstream. This study looked at the culverts in the upper Oak Creek basin watershed in order to assess their functionality for the passage of aquatic organisms. It is part of an ongoing project led by The Nature Conservancy to improve stream and forest quality. A modified version from US Forest Service the AOP (Aquatic Organism Passage) procedure was used to evaluate accessibility for salmonid species based upon culvert slope, stream ratio and outlet drop. Of the sites surveyed, 83 percent of them did not pass the criteria for the US Forest Service for both adult and juvenile salmonid passage. Culvert width and slope frequently fell below minimum criteria of accessibility for aquatic organisms. This study suggests that the majority of culverts in the Oak Creek Basin may create a barrier to salmonid species and potentially other aquatic organisms.

Poster Number

32

Faculty Mentor(s)

Loeser, Matthew

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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May 15th, 8:30 AM May 15th, 11:00 AM

Salmonid Passage in Oak Creek Basin of Central Washington

SURC Ballroom C/D

Aquatic organisms are facing threats due to increases in land and road development. Culverts provide passage for water, but may act as a barrier to aquatic organisms including endangered salmonid species. A culvert is defined as a crossing for stream water flow under a road, usually made of steel or aluminum. Culverts can increase the velocity of water flow, create large drops into stream pools and cause debris build up which all affect the ability for aquatic organisms to move upstream. This study looked at the culverts in the upper Oak Creek basin watershed in order to assess their functionality for the passage of aquatic organisms. It is part of an ongoing project led by The Nature Conservancy to improve stream and forest quality. A modified version from US Forest Service the AOP (Aquatic Organism Passage) procedure was used to evaluate accessibility for salmonid species based upon culvert slope, stream ratio and outlet drop. Of the sites surveyed, 83 percent of them did not pass the criteria for the US Forest Service for both adult and juvenile salmonid passage. Culvert width and slope frequently fell below minimum criteria of accessibility for aquatic organisms. This study suggests that the majority of culverts in the Oak Creek Basin may create a barrier to salmonid species and potentially other aquatic organisms.