Fish Passage Enhancement Program

Jeanne Kinney, Thurston County Public Works
Trevin Taylor, Environmental Coordinator II, Thurston County Public Works
Topic Area
Aquatic Species/Ecosystem and Wetland Interactions with Transportation

Thurston County, WA, home to hundreds of salmon bearing streams, has successfully implemented a comprehensive program to replace fish blocking culverts. Of the more than 3000 culverts on Thurston County roads, 150 have been identified as potential fish blockages- using a matrix that takes into account anadromous fish access, potential habitat gain, barrier status, culvert condition and maintenance history. Of the 150 identified, 5 were replaced in the first two year cycle. Steps in the process included: inventory, Identify, Prioritize, Design, Permit, Bid, Construct, Final inspection, Recommend and Repeat. Availability of dedicated funds from the Real Estate Excise Tax, use of prefabricated structures and streamlined permitting expedited the process. The program was awarded APWA (American Public Works Association) Washington State Environmental 2019 Project of the Year in the <$5 million category and is also the APWA 2019 National winner in the same category.

Abstract Keywords
fish barrier removal
pre-fabricated bridge
expedited process