Geissler Creek Fish Passage Barrier Correction

During the summer of 2020, we completed a fish passage project that removed three barriers at three separate road crossings on Geissler Creek in the Wynoochee River Basin.  Together this opened up 2.35 miles of excellent spawning and rearing habitat to five species of salmonids including Coho, Chinook, Chum, Steelhead, and Cutthroat.

Starting downstream before Geissler Creek flows into the Wynoochee River was the first site where we removed a 6 ft. diameter round steel pipe and replaced it with a 50 ft. long by 14 ft. wide steel modular bridge on privately owned property.

Left: The culvert before replacement, which was a barrier to fish passage. Right: The bridge that replaced the culvert provides unimpeded access to upstream habitat.

Moving upstream to the second privately owned site, we replaced a 4 ft. diameter steel pipe with a 50 ft. long by 14 ft. wide steel modular bridge.

Lastly, and further upstream, was the third site located on West Wynoochee Road and owned by Grays Harbor County wherein we removed a 7 ft. diameter steel pipe and replaced it with a multi-plate, 5 gauge, deep corrugated, galvanized bottomless arch culvert 22 ft. wide and with an 8 ft. 11 in. rise, set on precast concrete footings.

LEFT: The original culvert was 7 feet wide. RIGHT: The new bottomless arch culvert is 22 feet wide.

All three of the installed structures are passable to all aquatic species and life stages and will allow full transport of sediment and woody debris, contributing to channel complexity.  Many other aquatic organisms such as lamprey, freshwater mussels, and sculpin will also reap benefits.

We are not finished with our work on Geissler Creek.  We will be back in the summer of 2022 to remove two additional culverts.

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