Several agencies partner to improve fish passage near Elk City

Beginning the week of August 27, crews will work to improve fish passage at Moose Creek near Elk City by replacing an aging culvert under Idaho Highway 14.

The old culvert is not large enough to accommodate the flow of water and allow fish to easily pass.

“At high water, the flow is constricted and funneled into the circular pipe, creating higher velocities like a spigot,” said Miranda Main, a project manager for the Watershed Division within the Nez Perce Tribe. “The culvert is currently considered a barrier to migration for spring chinook and steelhead, but the replacement should open access to upstream habitat.”

Main said all life stages of fish would be able to swim upstream, with other features of the new culvert providing them areas to rest.

This project was designed by ITD and is funded by the Nez Perce Tribe and the U.S. Forest Service.

Debco Construction will replace the culvert in the next two months for $500,000. During construction, travelers should expect alternating, one-way traffic through the work zone.