The Santiam Basin Fish Passage Barrier Inventory Project is a joint program between the South Santiam Watershed Council, the North Santiam Watershed Council, and Oregon State University. Fish passage barriers, such as some culverts, prevent fish migration into and within streams in the Santiam basin. Culverts that prevent fish migration are also often undersized, and can pose threats to property if they back up in high water events and cause upstream flooding, or even threaten the integrity of the road crossing itself. Previous surveys have noted barriers on both public and private land, however these surveys have not been synthesized or prioritized.
This program is using data from previous inventories and filling in gaps with summer field surveys to assess whether culverts at road crossings are:
a) barriers to fish migration and
b) the quality of fish habitat available if the barrier was removed.
With these data, the project partners will prioritize a list of culverts in need of correction. Project funding is through The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Federal Payments to Counties grant program.