New bridge clears way for fish to migrate

new bridge
A DNR heavy equipment crew installs a new bridge on DNR-managed state trust land in southwest Washington State to replace an old bridge/culvert that blocked fish migration. State law requires forestland owners (public and private) to remove in-stream barriers that block fish migration by Oct. 31, 2016. Photo: Steve Ogden/DNR.

The numbers of salmon and trout have been on the decline for several decades in Washington State. Contributing to these declines are poorly designed or improperly placed road culverts and other barriers in forest streams that prevent fish from reaching good quality stream habitat. In 2013, DNR removed 100 fish barriers from forest streams on state trust lands, opening an estimated 50 miles of stream to salmon and other fish. Since 2000, DNR has removed 1,282 fish barrier culverts associated with streams on state trust lands.

The department’s ongoing project has opened nearly 650 miles of stream for fish habitat. About 208 fish barrier culverts under forest roads on state trust lands remain for DNR to remove by October 31, 2016, when the state’s Forest and Fish Law requires landowners to complete improvements.

[The bridge was installed on the E-3000 Road in the Elochoman Block of the St. Helens District of state trust land in southwest Washington State, managed by DNR’s Pacific Cascade Region, headquartered in Castle Rock, Washington.]