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Washington Trout: Preserve, Protect, Restore
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Snoqualmie/Skykomish Culvert Assessments

Washington Trout has nearly completed an analyses and inventory of culverts in the Snoqualmie and Skykomish River Basins. Poorly constructed and installed culverts are one of the most significant (and easily remedied) anadromous fish passage problems faced by wild salmon, trout and char in Washington. WT received two grants in 1998 to do comprehensive surveys and assessments of culverts in these two watersheds, two of the most important anadromous fish systems in western Washington. WT has collaborated on this massive project with the Tulalip Tribes, in coordination with King County and the Washington Departments of Transportation and Fish and Wildlife. Ninety per cent of the culvert inventory has been completed. Currently, a database is being created that will facilitate identifying problem culverts, and prioritizing culverts for removal, replacement, or repair. Prioritization will be based partly on previous water typing projects conducted in the basins by WT and the Tulalips.

"Culvert repair and replacement is one of the most cost-effective
habitat restoration efforts that can be undertaken"

Culvert repair and replacement is one of the most cost-effective habitat restoration efforts that can be undertaken. Poorly designed culverts currently block literally thousands of miles of spawning habitat in Washington. Culvert replacement projects undertaken by WT in the Tolt River Basin have already resulted in the return of significant numbers of wild salmon to spawning habitat that had been blocked for more than twenty-five years.