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Design For Fish Passage at Roadway - Stream Crossings: Synthesis Report


Development of this publication began in January 2005 with a literature review covering the topics of culvert design and assessment to ensure fish passage. In February 2005 a project website was posted to keep others apprised of progress, as well as to enhance contact with professionals interested in fish passage design and assessment.

In May 2005, a fish-passage survey was posted online to gather input from design professionals, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties. Through February 2006 there were 67 respondents from 29 states representing biologists, fisheries managers, hydraulic engineers, bridge engineers, drainage engineers, and environmental managers. All respondents were actively involved in roadway-stream crossing issues; their opinions can be assumed to be representative of their agencies. Of the states represented, only five reported fish passage to be of minor importance including New Hampshire, Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Illinois. Furthermore, 13 states rated fish passage as an extremely important concern. Survey comments were used to shape the initial direction of the document.

A Fish Passage Summit Meeting was held on February 15th - 16th, 2006 in Denver, Colorado. This comprised of 3 sessions - over one and a half days - covering the topics of culvert assessment, design and retrofit, and culvert replacement case histories. Speakers were selected, with design professionals known to be knowledgeable in each of our session topics, and care was taken to ensure that information was presented from regions that are under-represented in fish passage literature. Panel discussions were conducted at the conclusion of each session to invite audience participation and gain perspective on the topics presented. Overall, there were 110 people in attendance, including 16 speakers. Affiliation ranged from non-governmental-organizations to state departments of transportation.

A Technical Advisory Committee Meeting was held at the conclusion of the Summit Meeting. Those in attendance are specifically knowledgeable in each of the topic areas, and were active in shaping this document. Members of the Technical Advisory Committee included:

Andrzej ("Andy") Kosicki Maryland State Highway Administration
Marcin Whitman California Department of Fish and Game
Mark Miles (deceased) Alaska Department of Transportation
Michael Furniss United States Forest Service
Robert Gubernick United States Forest Service
Scott Jackson University of Massachusetts
Bryan Nordland National Marine Fisheries Service

Mr. Hebson from the Maine Department of Transportation has since joined the Technical Advisory Committee.

In addition to the Culvert Summit Meeting, consultation with members of the Forest Service Technology and Development Center in San Dimas, California, as well as with Michael Love and Associates and Michael Furniss (key developers in USFS's FishXing) was important in shaping project scope and direction. These meetings included site visits to inspect completed fish passage restoration projects and tide gates.

The following document represents the culmination of an effort to gather and share information necessary to understand the current state of bridge and culvert design for fish passage.

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Updated: 09/22/2014

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration