Many culverts cause big problems for fish. Migratory fish—like salmon and steelhead—need room to move and are particularly hard hit by barriers where roads cross streams.
Designing fish-friendly crossings where roads intersect streams helps ensure a seamless transition for fish passing underneath. Across the nation, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and many partners have come together to improve fish passage under roads: in 2016, the U.S. Forest Service celebrated over 1000 fish passage projects completed nationally.
This effort has been deeply embraced in Alaska across the Tongass
National Forest. Between 1998 and 2015, over 500 crossings not
previously meeting fish passage standards were improved. In spite of this good work, it is estimated that a third of remaining assessed road-stream crossings in the Tongass do not currently meet fish passage standards. To address this need, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership have teamed up to develop the TONGASS TOP 5. The goal: design fish passage sites to a ‘shovel ready’ state and ultimately develop a plan to restore these remaining high priority sites for improved fish passage.
Your help can make a difference for fish in the Tongass! Make a direct tax-deductible donation for this effort here.