Fish Passage

Fish Passage Barriers

While the Tryon Creek watershed has high habitat quality, there are several physical barriers to fish passage throughout the Tryon Creek watershed that prevent native fish from thriving here. At TCWC, we work to advance the removal or retrofit of these fish passage barriers. Culverts (structures that bodies of water flow through) are often outdated and undersized, making it difficult or impossible for fish to pass through (due to speed, drop height, and so on). In 2014, Stone Bridge, a fish passage barrier in the Tryon Creek State Natural Area, was replaced with the Nettle Creek Bridge. While there are culverts throughout the watershed, as there are anywhere roads have been built, there are three major remaining barriers in the Tryon Creek Watershed.

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.