Understanding the impact of culverts on fish communities and optimization tools for mitigation efforts

This project analyses how culverts change streams and their fish communities. The analysis provides the information needed for cost-effective remediation of stream crossings. The research is in the Simonette River in the foothills natural region, and is conducted by Bryan Maitland for his MSc thesis.

Industrial resource development in Canada’s boreal forest has resulted in several thousand hanging culverts and many other stream crossing structures. These structures disrupt ecological connectivity in streams, which degrades and reduces available fish habitat.

This project determines and compares the characteristics of culverted, bridged and undisturbed streams. Differences in depth, water velocity, turbidity, temperature and dissolved oxygen are recorded, as well as any changes in fish communities.

Once the impact of these stream crossings has been determined, cost-benefit curves can be developed to prioritize habitat restoration.

01-Apr-13
Project Start

Project is underway

19-Sep-13
Research Underway

Field season is underway

Spring 2015
Thesis Completed

Bryan M. Maitland publishes his MSc thesis for the University of Alberta

10-Sep-15
Paper Published

Bryan M. Maitland publishes in Freshwater Ecology

31-Mar-16
Project End Date
Scientific Publications | Peer Reviewed Papers
Paper published in Freshwater Biology from the fRI Research Water Program
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Axel Anderson
Axel Anderson
Scientist