Restoring Connectivity on the Little Tonsina River
Increasing 70+ miles of spawning and rearing habitat!
In order to address habitat connectivity across the watershed, CRWP initiated a regional partnership in 2008 to develop a culvert ranking protocol for identifying high priority fish passage improvements across the landscape. In 2016 data were collected and scored for the Little Tonsina crossing, and since then it has been the highest priority in the watershed based on habitat and culvert scores and partner support. Little Tonsina River is a tributary of the Tonsina River that flows into the Copper River. The State of Alaska’s Anadromous Waters Catalog lists coho and Chinook adult and juveniles in this system.
An estimated 70+ miles of un-developed, unimpeded, remotely located spawning and rearing habitat is upstream of the culverts of concern and will be opened up. This project will replace the existing undersized culverts with a single-lane bridge designed to span at least two times the bankfull channel width.
First Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded fish passage project to break ground in the USA
“The project is one of 40 across the country that received funding in 2022 as part of the five-year $200 million commitment to removing in-stream barriers and providing technical assistance under the National Fish Passage Program”. Read the full Medium article from 8/22/22.
Katrina Liebich, USFWS, Oncorhynchus Newsletter of the Alaska Chapter, American Fisheries Society – Winter 2023
Katrina Liebich, USFWS – November 30, 2022
Little Tonsina bridge project to be completed in 2023
Margaret Bauman, The Cordova Times – October 21, 2022 (currently only in print)
Holly Richards, USFWS – October 13, 2022
Allison Sayer, Copper River Record – September 29, 2022
NOAA – September 15, 2022
USFWS – August 22, 2022
Kate Morse on the KLAM Town Meeting Talk Show 4/13/22
CRWP Program Director, Kate Morse, joined the KLAM Town Meeting Talk Show on 4/13/22 to chat about the Little Tonsina project. Listen in at the beginning and hear from her why we’re excited to be working on this important project!