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.

Opening 70 Miles of Fish Passage on the Little Tonsina River

Katrina Liebich, USFWS, Oncorhynchus Newsletter of the Alaska Chapter, American Fisheries Society – Winter 2023


Breaking Ground in Alaska, First fish passage project funded by Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help people, fish. Pg 36

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)


Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Brings Big Wins for Fish Passage and Local Communities

Holly Richards, USFWS – October 13, 2022


Work Underway on Little Tonsina Bridge

Allison Sayer, Copper River Record – September 29, 2022


NOAA Announces Funding to Continue 12 Ongoing Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Projects

NOAA – September 15, 2022


Alaska project to open 70 miles of salmon habitat

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!