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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Box-culvert "lip" creates deeper water for fish passage

In North Dakota, spawning Northern pike and other fish often run up feeder creeks fed by runoff from melting snow. Although the volume of this runoff can be quite large, it usually doesn't last long, so highway drainage structures sized for spring flows can become a barrier to spawned fish once the runoff has subsided and water levels are low. To correct this situation at Turtle Creek south of Washburn, North Dakota, the North Dakota Department of Transportation installed a 6-inch "lip" in one barrel of a two-barrel box culvert. The lip diverts low flows into the other barrel, maximizing the water depth to allow fish passage. Thanks to this simple measure, the culverts neither restrict the passage of spawning fish nor prevent young fry from returning to the Missouri River.
 
--Apr 25, 2003

Mark Schrader, (701) 250-4343 ext 111 or mark.schrader@fhwa.dot.gov

Double box culvert with "lip" at entrance to one side to divert low flows into a single barrel
North Dakota Department of Transportatio photo
Double box culvert with "lip" to divert low flows into single barrel

On or Along Waterways - North Dakota
Updated: 12/12/2012
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