Habitat - Fish Passage Technical Assistance
Date Published: August 31, 2002
Number of Pages: 52
Resident and anadromous salmonids are a vital component of the culture and economy of the Pacific Northwest. Each year, millions of dollars in revenues are generated in Washington, Oregon, and California by sport and commercial fisheries targeting salmon and trout. Beyond this, anadromous fish are the most important natural system for the cycling of nutrients from the sea back to the land and the abundance of salmonids indicates the health of Pacific northwest stream ecosystems. Without question, protection and enhancement of salmonids and the habitat that supports them directly enhances the distribution and abundance of many other wildlife species as well.
Correction of human-made fish passage barriers such as impassable culverts, dams, floodgates, or degraded fishways is one of the most cost effective methods of salmonid enhancement and restoration. In many cases, several miles of quality salmon and trout habitat can be retrieved and brought into production by eliminating a single point source fish barrier. To address these problems, the Fish Passage Unit performs several major functions: fishway inspections, fishway operation and maintenance, culvert inventory work, fishway major project development, database management, and training/consultation on fish passage related issues. The unit is composed of specialized fish biologists, engineers, technicians, and equipment operators. Following is a summary of work completed in the year 2001.