Before and After: Fish Passage Restored

By Eimy Quispe, Conservation Apprentice with the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)

Field season this past summer has been incredible. Stream surveying for culvert replacements can be a challenge since some streams in Carlton County are not in the best shape, but that’s made our surveying time unforgettable. After stream surveys are completed and field data is collected, planning and designing efforts take place in order to complete a project. Culverts around the county are in different conditions and surveys allow us to take a closer look in order to address some of the stream’s problems such as erosion control, fish or aquatic organism passage, water quality, etc.

Caleb Maki, Public Work Supervisor for the City of Scanlon

Scanlon creek is a trout stream, and home for other aquatic organisms in Carlton County. Due to the notably undersized culvert connecting the stream under the road, there was local concern about causing barriers for aquatic organisms to pass through the culvert. The structure that was in place was also heavily deteriorating the road going over it and producing flooding upstream while the backed up water waited to pass through the culvert. This is why the culvert connecting Scanlon creek was replaced in July of 2018 as a cooperative project.

The Scanlon Creek culvert was replaced thanks to the joint work of the City of Scanlon, Carlton County Transportation Department and SWCD, Conservation Corps Apprentice: Declan Devine, and Contractor involved with this project. Our Conservation Corp Apprentice’s stream survey, culvert design, and overall collaboration with field work needed for Scanlon creek to have a properly sized and installed culvert is an important part of what has made this project happen.

The goal of having a properly sized and installed culvert in this case is to reduce sediment erosion and increase aquatic organism connectivity. Sometimes projects don’t happen immediately but over an extended period of time and, in this case, the work done by Declan last year has had a positive impact that can now be highlighted. Some comparison pictures below illustrate the work that was completed this summer!

BEFORE – Summer 2017




AFTER – Summer 2018




Stream Surveys 2018