Omak Creek Watershed Culvert Replacement Projects

Highlights in Conservation icon

Omak Creek Watershed Culvert Replacement Projects

Picture of crew discussing the fully-installed fish passage culvert replacement, Omak watershed.

The fully-installed fish passage culvert replacement, Omak watershed.

Location icon
Okanogan County, City of Omak

Project Summary icon
Fish Passage Structures Installation

Conservation Partners icon
Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) of the Colville Indian Reservation

Resource Challenges icon
In sites like the Omak Creek Watershed, engineering has historically focused on “getting the water down the mountain.” Roads, bridges and culverts were designed to safely transport people and goods, as well as facilitate human transportation and enterprise. Culverts only needed to be large enough to get the design storm event down the mountain without damage to the road. But in the current project, a broader, more systemic approach has been taken that focuses on “getting the fish up the mountain” along with getting the water downstream. The design goal for these projects was to re-engineer the road and stream crossings to provide a culvert large enough to hold the entire channel bankfull width – recreating conditions that were present for fish prior to the forest road construction.

Conservation Program Used icon
Washington NRCS received funds to complete the fish passage work for the Omak Watershed Plan begun under PL-566 through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).

Innovations and Highlights icon
The Watershed Plan included the identified needs of culvert replacement where the fish passage was blocked. Through a collaborative effort with NRCS engineering staff and and CCT Fish and Wildlife staff, 16 sites were identified, surveyed, designed and getting installed within the 18 months of the ARRA funding window. The staff coordination required to accomplish this workload is an outstanding example of NRCS engineering skills and team work.

Results and Accomplishments icon
Projects included:
• 4 bridges
• 11 culverts: 1-10ft dia. bottomless arch, 3-9ft dia. rounds, 2-8ft dia. rounds, 2-7ft dia., 3-3ft dia.
• 2-ford Crossings
• 2 road decommissioning sites

Contact icon
Sally Bredeweg, Natural Resources Conservation Service, (509) 323-2958

NRCS, Summer 2010

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