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Concurrent Sessions C: A Comprehensive Approach to Fish Passage: What's Happening in Washington State - Construction Techniques and Compliance

Improvements to fish passage generally require some kind of in-water construction work, either to replace or remove a barrier. Best management practices need to be used during construction to ensure fish safety and water quality. Sufficient information needs to be collected and discussed before in-water work can begin such as, timing of in-water work in regards to life stages of listed species in the area, flow rates expected during construction, and specific methods of dewatering the site and water diversion. Fish removal and exclusion methods, duration of in-water work, sequence of work to be done and staging areas also need to be established. Erosion and sediment control are important to minimize the input of sediment into a stream and reduce turbidity. Methods used are dependent upon weather, dewatering methods applied, and site location. After construction compliance and effectiveness monitoring should be incorporated into fish passage projects and is an essential component of project design. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has recently completed a compliance monitoring study to aid our efforts in compliance and monitoring. WDFW regularly conducts compliance inspections on Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) culverts that were replaced with a fish passage structure. Baseline and effectiveness monitoring at WSDOT sites include determining fish utilization upstream and downstream of the site prior to and one year after project construction by conducting spawner surveys; evaluating new structures for one year after construction for design, durability, and efficiency; and provide long-term monitoring of select sites to evaluate various design options. I have worked with WDFW in the fish passage section for the past 6 years. My work has included evaluating and prioritizing in-stream structures for fish passage, coordinating pre-project scoping work to correct fish passage barriers, and aiding in design and construction methods. Much of my work is done with collaborating agencies and individuals.