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Ecological Projects >> Humboldt River >> North Fork Humboldt River Fish Barrier and Fish Passage

Project:  North Fork of the Humboldt River Fish Barrier and Fish Passage

Client:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Date:  March 2013 – August 2014

Site Location:  On the North Fork of the Humboldt River upstream from Doheny Ranch, approximately 70 miles north of Elko NV, west of Highway 225, in Elko County.

Multi-use recreational trail built as part of the ecosystem restoration project.
Near the fish barrier site on North Fork Humboldt River
Project Summary:
The North Fork of the Humboldt River (NFHR) is a tributary to the Humboldt River and a designated recovery site of the federally threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout (LCT - Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi).  Recently, populations of non-native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) have become established in the NFHR.  Brook trout are a threat because they displace native LCT.  To assist with management and recovery, OBEC designed a fish barrier and fish passage feature.  The barrier site is located in a confined section of canyon. 

The fish barrier design includes a fish passage feature, which can be opened or closed at the discretion of wildlife biologists.  The fish barrier and closed passage would initially prevent upstream migration of brook trout into 4 miles of LCT habitat.  If brook trout can be successfully eradicated from the NFHR in the future, then the fish passageway could be opened to allow LCT passage.  To enhance potential fish passage, OBEC also designed step-pool features within the downstream section leading up to the fish barrier.

OBEC completed a geotechnical investigation and hydrologic analysis to determine appropriate fish barrier design materials, construction sequencing, and earthwork needs. 

Funding for the project was provided by ANOVA Metals Limited.

Project Update:
Final plans were submitted to ANOVA Metals Limited for distribution to the USFWS, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) in July 2013.  Final Plans were approved November 2013.  Construction is tentatively scheduled for 2014.

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