Culvert Prioritization


The Copper River Watershed Project (CRWP) and partners recognize that access to spawning and rearing habitats for salmonids are important factors for maintaining fish productivity in the Pacific Northwest.  However, culvert replacement projects are very expensive and the ecological benefits can vary greatly from one stream to the next.


To help prioritize how to spend limited fish habitat restoration funds, CRWP has developed a protocol that assigns numerical value to ecological condition variables (i.e. fish presence/absence, quantity, and quality of fish habitat) associated with road crossings and to culvert conditions. This scoring system generates a number score for each culvert, providing an objective ranking of potential fish passage improvement projects that make the best use of available resources while maximizing ecological benefits to the fish and the aquatic system.  This data has been integrated into the Copper River Knowledge System to provide a visual tool for interpreting the prioritization data.


The culvert ranking protocol will be used as a planning tool and for facilitating discussion with permitting agencies, property owners, land managers, and the Alaska Department of Transportation/Public Facilities.

For more information about scoring methodology and how to interpret scores, download CRWP Culvert Prioritization document.


Project partners include Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, Ecotrust, and United States Fish & Wildlife Service.

Thanks also to Bureau of Land Management, Glennallen Field Office, Mentasta Lake Village, Native Village of Eyak, United States Forest Service Cordova Ranger District, and Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve.

Funding provided by Alaska Conservation Foundation, State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Ecotrust, Native Village of Eyak, and United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Questions? Comments?
Project Contact:
Kate Alexander
Copper River Watershed Project
PO Box 1560
Cordova, AK 99574


© 2011 Copper River Knowledge System