Brookies movin' on up at second Buck Creek AOP Site

TU Southeast Conservation Project's second culvert removal on Buck Creek in the Nantahala NF is complete thanks to a collaborative effort with our partners the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and USFS. We think the brookies and salamanders will agree - this aquatic passage project was a huge success!

The culvert is upstream from our first big AOP project on Buck Creek where a bad culvert was removed and replaced with a stream simulation design crossing.  This second bad culvert was installed just a few years ago but almost instantly started causing issues.  During low flows, the culvert was completely blocking passage for trout and other aquatic wildlife.  During high flows, the water was ponding and creating an unnatural dam effect on the upside of the stream. 

While digging out the culvert, the crew diverts the water using a pump to keep sediment out of the creek.

Out comes the bad culvert to be replaced by a wet ford that will allow for 100% aquatic passage.

This adventurous brookie visited the culvert removal site while we were in the middle of stream bed construction.   Spotted by the excavator operator, the little trout was rescued! 

These salamanders were hanging out in the indention left by the old culvert.

This small forest service road dead ends just above the culvert into a wildlife opening used by NC Wildlife Resources Commission and the public during hunting seasons.   Traffic on this road is minimal to none so it will be replaced by a wet ford designed and constructed by the Commission and TU to keep a minimal flow for animal passage with appropriate hydroengineering.  Again, a huge thanks to our partners the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, with special thanks to Scott Loftis, and USFS for coming together to get this project completed.

The final product: a wet ford designed with native rock that will allow for passage throughout the year.

Here is a before, during, and after collage of the project!


Add Content