Concurrent Sessions - F. Fisheries: Habitat and Passage
- Stream Simulation in the DOT World: The Challenges, the Constraints, and the Costs – John Perry
- Challenges for river herring upstream migration in a post-industrial landscape – Zach Hope
- The Maine Stream Habitat Viewer: an online tool for restoration and conservation – Slade Moore
Stream Simulation in the DOT World: The Challenges, the Constraints, and the Costs
John Perry, Maine Department of Transportation
Presentation available (pdf format)
Abstract: At MaineDOT the push towards larger steam crossings is ever growing, enforced largely via recent revisions to federal permitting and Endangered Species Act interpretations. This has created significant challenges to the Department including scour and other design issues, logistics and site constraints, rights-of-way obstacles, and impacts to the traveling public–issues not typically encountered at other sites in Maine where stream simulation has been ongoing. Additionally, the costs incurred by MaineDOT with building larger crossings are not comparable to costs incurred by these other entities. With this presentation MaineDOT hopes to add perspective by relating some of the constraints a state transportation agency faces in fitting 1.2 BFW crossings into a large transportation capital investment program.
However, MaineDOT has started building larger crossings designed using the hydraulic-based method similar to that developed by the Federal Highway Administration HEC-26. These crossings are much larger than MaineDOT has historically built and we are in the process of collecting preliminary data on fish and aquatic organism passage, as well as other physical characteristics within the crossings. These crossings are seen as a compromise to providing passage over a much wider range of flows than traditional DOT structures, yet at a cost lower than 1.2 BFW open bottom crossings. An overview and preliminary findings of several of these structures will be discussed.
Challenges for river herring upstream migration in a post-industrial landscape
Zach Hope, University of Southern Maine; Theodore Willis, Karen Wilson, Department of Environmental Science, University of Southern Maine
Abstract: In New England, river herring (Alosa pseudoharengus and A. aestivalis) ascend falls and other natural and altered features that appear to exceed their measured swimming ability. Upstream fish passage at a site is dependent upon factors including swimming characteristics of the fish species and seasonal hydraulic conditions. Engineered fish passage designs tend to be conservative in terms of maximum flow speeds, heights of hydraulic drops, and holding area turbulence, but for the fish more subtle or basic hydrodynamic and hydrologic characteristics may be key to ascending an obstacle. We asked whether detailed survey work and GIS computer modeling could predict what pathway a river herring might take over an obstruction. In 2012 we surveyed several natural and anthropogenic obstructions with a robotic total station, including Sheepscot Falls, Mill Stream in Dresden and Presumpscot Falls, to develop detailed maps of geology and hydrology. ArcGIS was used to build surfaces and network path analysis was employed to determine possible passage routes based on slope and gradient. HEC-RAS was used to model flow conditions through these pathways. HEC-RAS results for natural barriers were compared to those for nearby designed fish passage facilities. River herring swimming ability exceeds the basic fish passage design criteria, but conditions at older fish passage facilities may be more demanding than what is found at falls because of low heterogeneity in the structures.
The Maine Stream Habitat Viewer: an online tool for restoration and conservation
Slade Moore, Maine Coastal Program/Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment; Alex Abbott, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
Presentation not available
Abstract: The Stream Habitat Viewer was created by the Maine Stream Connectivity Work Group to provide a starting point for towns, private landowners, and others to integrate habitat considerations for stream-dependent species into their planning. The Viewer accomplishes that by displaying habitats for species like Atlantic salmon, wild eastern brook trout, sea-run rainbow smelt, and alewife, which have featured importantly in Maine’s economy, ecology, and way of life. The Viewer also displays locations of dams and public road crossings, which can act as barriers to the movements of fish and wildlife and also degrade habitat. For the highest priority habitats, technical assistance and limited funding is available to offset the cost of replacing barriers like aging road crossings and re-establishing fish passage at dams. The Viewer uses that information to bring people together in ways that restore and conserve Maine’s natural heritage while looking for opportunities to ease the financial burdens of road and dam owners.