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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Integrating fish ladders into culvert-improvement contracts

If the New York State Department of Transportation hadn't specified fish ladders in a standard culvert-paving contract, the ladders might never have been installed and fish-passage barriers might never have been removed. The contract called for the paving of deteriorating inverts in 37 culverts located in the _______ watershed. Several of these culverts were longer than 350 feettoo long for fish to navigate easily, if at all. Incorporating fish ladders into the contract allowed the 3-foot-long ladders to be bolted onto the culvert inverts before wet concrete was poured. So the ladders were an integral part of the repaved culvert inverts--not a later add-on which would have been extremely expensive and labor-intensive. The fish ladders are now installed, and where there were severe storms and flooding, they remained intact and undamaged.
--Mar 25, 2009

Mary O'Reilly, (607) 721-8138 or

This photo shows a culvert in a river and a fish ladder to restore fish passage to spawning habitats upstream.
Photo by Photo by NYSDOT.
If fish ladders hadn't been included in a culvert-paving contract, this ladder might never have been built.

On or Along Waterways - New York
Updated: 12/12/2012
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