Trout stream benefits from changes to road-stream crossings

Dams aren’t the only structures that block fish passage and disrupt the natural movement of aquatic life and nutrients in rivers and streams — road crossings can also wreak havoc on waterways.

In northeast Michigan, the conservation group Huron Pines assembled a coalition of public and private organizations to upgrade 10 road-stream crossings over Silver Creek, a trout stream that flows into the Ocqueoc River. The Ocqueoc River is a tributary of Lake Huron.

New culverts like this one allow fish and other aquatic life to move freely throughout Silver Creek. (Photo courtesy of Huron Pines)

The coalition improved 10 road-stream crossings that either blocked fish passage or were major sources of sand and silt washing into the river and burying prime fish spawning areas. New culverts were installed at six sites and all of the roads over the creek were paved. The culverts and paving reduced sediment runoff into the creek and allowed fish and other aquatic life to move freely throughout the waterway and the Ocqueoc River.

The Silver Creek Super Project, as it is known, is a great example of how upgrading road-stream crossings can dramatically improve the health of a stream and the aquatic life that lives in it. Go here to learn more about the project.




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