Fish and other wildlife need to move up and downstream. Stream connectivity–the ability to move freely–helps them access food and habitat, as well as escape from predators. For migratory fish such as salmon, trout, and lamprey, connectivity is especially important.
That’s why fish passage barriers are such a concern. Fish passage barriers are features that block movement. The most common kind of barrier in our watershed are culverts, the large pipes through which creeks pass under roads and driveways. Culverts can block fish passage in many ways, such as high drops, high water velocity, and steep slope.
In 2013-14, JCWC partnered with Portland State University to survey potential barriers in our watershed. Of the 273 surveyed culverts and dams, 70% were found to be full or partial barriers! We used a statistical model to prioritize these barriers for future restoration projects, and produced a list of the 18 top-priority barriers.
Restoring Fish Passage in Badger Creek
In September 2016, we removed our top-priority barrier by replacing the culvert where Badger Creek passes under the Springwater Trail. Check out the photos below!