Ever wonder what happens to a brook trout when a poorly functioning culvert keeps it from moving up and down stream? Anglers know fish need to move – between spawning, nursery, feeding, and cold water summer refuges – to survive and grow. But about 40% of our culverts are fish barriers and up to 90% keep fish and wildlife from getting where they need to go at least part of the year.
To address this challenge, Maine Audubon has teamed up with The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to survey bridges and culverts in western and northeastern Maine to determine how well fish, wildlife and floods can move through the bridges and culverts at each site. The data will be shared with landowners and towns so they can prioritize which sites to fix first to re-create natural stream flows so fish and other wildlife can move safely up and down stream and so that the culverts, bridges and roads don’t get washed out during heavy rainstorms or floods.