Fish Passage

Fish Passage Barriers

While the Tryon Creek watershed has high habitat quality, there are several physical barriers to fish passage throughout the watershed that prevent native fish from thriving. Tryon Creek Watershed Council advocates for removal of these fish passage barriers. Many culverts within the watershed are difficult or impossible for fish to pass through. In 2014, Tryon Creek Watershed Council led a project to remove the Stone Bridge culvert, a fish passage barrier located within the Tryon Creek State Natural Area and replaced it with the Nettle Creek Bridge. Many culverts remain throughout the watershed. Three strategic barriers to a thriving native fish population are Boones Ferry Road culvert, 4th Avenue culvert and Highway 43 culvert.

Nettle Creek Bridge

Before and After!

Boones Ferry Culvert

The small, aging culvert is an obstacle to water flow and fish and wildlife passage. After being put on hold this spring due to an increase in steel prices, the project is moving forward again, and construction will begin in the spring of 2020!

Watch a video below that talks about the impetus for the project and expected results.

Read our blog post here. For more information from the Bureau of Environmental Services, who have been moving this project forward, click here.

The problem & the solution! Photos compiled from the Bureau of Environmental Services video linked above.

4th Avenue/East Fork Culvert

Tryon Creek Watershed Council is working towards the removal of this barrier at the edge of the Tryon Creek State Natural Area.

Highway 43 Culvert

The Highway 43 culvert blocks fish passage about a quarter mile upstream from Tryon Creek’s confluence with the Willamette River. Efforts have been underway for over two decades to replace this culvert, a complicated and expensive project. Despite this culvert restricting fish access to the watershed, the Tryon Creek watershed supports a healthy coastal cutthroat trout population, and the lower portion of the creek below the Hwy 43 culvert is a cool water refuge for native fish off the Willamette River, including Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and Steelhead trout.

Tryon Creek Watershed Culvert Assessment Project poster

By PCC GIS student Andrew Sheehan. Click to view larger.