Culvert Assessment 2020/2021

Results from an extensive culvert analysis in 2011 and 2012 suggest that there is substantial suitable, but inaccessible, salmon habitat on the upstream side of restrictive culverts in Hammond River tributaries. Our long-term salmon database also suggests that the amount of available Parr habitat may be a limiting factor to the growth of the Hammond River salmon population. This project will identify sites where Atlantic salmon movement has been restricted by electrofishing and quantifying the suitable habitat upstream of restrictive culverts. This project will guide HRAA's effort to repair, replace, or modify culverts that are restricting the greatest amount of salmon habitat.

 

Step 1: Research Culverts

 

- Using 2012 culvert assessment data and 2020 citizen science survey results, we have created a list of all culverts that are restrictive as a result of being blocked by debris, perched, hanging, broken or crushed.

 

- We have recorded the type/nature of the obstruction, location( plotted on a watershed map, as well as GPS coordinates, with stream name, if known), photos of upstream & downstream ends of the structure, channel views upstream and downstream, average channel width at the time, as well as wet width. High priority will be given to culverts restricting upstream fish passage to the biggest area.

 

Step 2: Habitat Assessment

 

- We have conducted habitat assessments upstream from restrictive culverts.

 

- We have walked 5 km (or until habitat becomes unsuitable) above each culvert that is found to be restrictive. and documented any findings.

- We have quantified the amount of suitable salmon habitat (in m2) upstream of each culvert.

 

Step 3: Prioritize Culverts in terms of Restoration Needs

 

- We have created a new list of the top 5 culverts that should be restored.

 

- We will soon be making recommendations and sharing our data with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and/or the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

- HRAA will submit proposals to different funding bodies to support culvert repair projects in 2021/2022.

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