Identifying Culvert Design Parameters that Correlate with Fish Passage Success

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) maintains approximately 90,000 culverts across the state. For every bridge, there are 6 culverts. This proposal seeks to understand the percentage of existing culverts that allow for fish passage. Further, the proposal wishes to use data from the existing culverts that do pass fish to identify design variables that strongly correlate with fish passage success in Ohio. Until recently hydraulic design of culverts in Ohio was based primarily on conveyance of large flood events. With the issuance of a new nationwide permit ODOT is now required to design new culverts to allow aquatic organism passage. Specifically, all new culverts are required to pass the unimpeded bankfull discharge. This recommendation comes primarily from migration studies of west coast salmon species. A recently completed report questions the effectiveness of bankfull culverts in Ohio but was unable to determine successful design characteristics due to an insufficient number of properly functioning bankfull culverts in Ohio. The proposed research compliments the study yet refocuses the question to fish passage success in all existing ODOT culverts. There are two primary benefits to this new approach. First, the proposal will be able to understand the percentage of culverts that already pass fish using existing design criteria. It is likely that many existing culverts in the ODOT system already allow for fish passage, thus indicating that under certain circumstances standard design practices are sufficient to address the new fish passage goal. Second, by including all existing culverts, the number of culverts available for evaluation increases substantially thus increasing the strength of the study and therefore the likelihood that design variables which are correlated with fish passage success in Ohio can be identified. Objectives and Goals of the Study The overarching objective of this proposal is to understand the extent to which existing culverts in the ODOT system allow fish passage and to use the identified successful culverts to determine ranges of design variables that are important to passage success. One tool will be developed while two questions will be answered: Tool: A standard method for determining whether an existing culvert passes fish. Questions: 1) What percentage of culverts in Northeast Ohio allow fish movement? 2) What range of standard design parameters are correlated with fish passage success?


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Ohio Department of Transportation

    Research Program
    1980 West Broad Street
    Columbus, OH  United States  43223
  • Project Managers:

    Esenwein, Joann

  • Performing Organizations:

    Youngstown State University, Ohio

    Center for Transportation & Materials Engineering
    One University Plaza, Moser Hall
    Youngstown, OH  United States  44555
  • Principal Investigators:

    Tritico, Hans

  • Start Date: 20120701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20130630
  • Source Data: RiP Project 32186

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01487678
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Youngstown State University Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0041
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jul 20 2013 1:01AM