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July 17, 2000

Fish return to Fauntleroy Creek


Two weeks after a culvert in Fauntleroy Creek was reconfigured, more than 200 cutthroat trout and coho salmon returned to spawn in the creek, delighting neighbors and the project designers from RoseWater Engineering and Nakano Associates.

Fish passage through the creek had been blocked in 1914 when a steep culvert was installed under Fauntleroy Way Southwest. Working with a tight site and an extreme drop of over eight feet, the multidisciplinary team designed a new culvert and two fish ladders that complied with the Endangered Species Act and state law which require that fish passage be restored.

The solution was a flat culvert under the street with two multi-step fish ladders, one at each end of the culvert. A public plaza was added at the top, adjacent to Fauntleroy Way, that provides a viewing platform for people to see the upper fishway.

The team included: HWA GeoSciences, which did soil investigations and geotechnical design recommendations; The Watershed Co., which helped establish criteria for fish passage and riparian plantings; Nakano Associates, which designed the observation platform and landscaping of the restored berm and riparian environment; Symonds Consulting Engineers, which did structural engineering for both fishways, the headwall and a retaining wall for the public plaza; and White Shield, which provided surveys and legal descriptions for temporary and permanent easements.


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