West Weaver Creek FPIP at Oregon Street

Migration Barrier Removal

Migration Barrier Removal Project at Peacock CreekHuman caused barriers to fish passage include road/stream intersections, pipeline or other infrastructure crossings, erosion control/flood control structures (rip-rap, concrete channels, etc), and dams which block or delay upstream migration. These barriers impact both adult and juvenile fish by preventing full use of available habitat or by altering habitat or hydraulic conditions. Numerous road/stream crossings often cross multiple road ownerships within a watershed. Aside from making habitat inaccessible, passage impediments and delays in migration can cause injury or death to adult and juvenile fish attempting to migrate upstream.

The Five Counties Program has aggressively targeted Migration Barrier Removal on County Roads as one of its top priorities since 1998. Through the Five Counties Migration Barrier Inventory, consulting biologist Ross Taylor identified stream crossings on County Roads that prevent or impede the upstream migration of salmonid species. These barriers were prioritized in our Migration Barrier Ranking Matrix, which has driven the implementation stage of the program for several years. As our Migration Barrier Removal Progress Matrix indicates, the program has completed 65 migration barrier improvement projects, restoring access to over 146 miles of habitat. Refer to the Project Gallery page for select project photos and to this current map for locations of existing and completed barrier projects.

Summary by County
Projects in individual counties have been implemented as follows:

Several construction techniques have been used in these fish passage projects. Coho Salmon spawning in Rush Creek, Trinity County were observed in early November! Check out the video here, courtesy of Eric Wiseman, Fisheries Biologist.

An inventory of the Russian River migration barriers was also completed by Ross Taylor & Associates. Download the inventory (PDF file): Russian River Migration Barrier Inventory. Margaret Lang completed a barrier inventory of Caltrans District 1 crossing structures. Download the inventory (PDF) file: Caltrans District 1 Pilot Fish Passage Assessment Study: Volume 1 - Overall Results.

The 5C recognizes that a comprehensive fish passage program is vital for identifying, prioritizing, and treating migration barriers so that unimpeded migration of regional salmonid populations can occur. Aside from pursuing migration barrier removal projects, the 5C also participates in the Fish Passage Forum. The Forum is a collaboration of public, private, and other organizations to protect and restore listed anadromous fish and aquatic organisms.

For more information on the Migration Barrier Removal Program, contact us.

Undersized culvert at Anker Creek created sedimentation and served as a barrier to salmonids

Prior to replacement, the culvert shown above, located on South Fork Anker Creek in Humboldt County, not only served as a complete barrier to all life stages of salmonids, but was also extremely undersized. The replacement crossing, shown below affords full passage to all life stages, higher flows, and associated channel bedload and debris.

Replacement crossing at anker Creek affords full passage for all stages of salmonids and higher flows