On July 5th and 6th Metco Inc. completed the installation of a special “fish passage” culvert on Timber Drive at the south end of the Questa Wood subdivision. Metco Inc. and Tom Gillespie’s crew did a great job of installing the new culvert and minimizing the disturbance to the creek.
About 7 years ago the Kenai Watershed Forum (KWF) surveyed several Seward area creeks to add them to the Anadromous Waters Catalog and to look for culverts that prevent fish passage. The Timber Drive culvert was found to inhibit fish passage. Recently the KWF secured funding from Federal, Borough and non-federal sources and asked RBCA to handle all the logistics involved with design, private property approval, obtaining permits, bidding and construction.
Last week, years of work came to fruition and a 72 inch arched metal culvert was installed adjacent to the old 24 inch culvert. Leaving the old culvert in place made the construction work easier and it allowed reduced impacts to the creek (a small groundwater fed tributary to Salmon Creek). Metco employed a few special techniques to install several inches of clean gravel and rock inside the new culvert so that it closely mimics a natural river channel.
By late Friday afternoon small salmon fry were seen swimming into the new culvert. Success! We expect that upstream property owners will also benefit by the huge increase in stormwater flow that the new culvert will allow to pass. This should result in a reduction of flooded crawl spaces, which has been a problem in this area.
Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance
Watershed Program Coordinator