State-owned culverts are not the only barriers preventing fish from accessing spawning and rearing habitat.
Between 2010 and 2014, 107 additional barrier culverts were identified in the Skagit River watershed. Most of these are privately owned, but many are city- and county-owned. Two of them are state-owned.
During the same survey period, only 24 barrier culverts were repaired.
This net gain of 83 barrier culverts, documented in the recently released State of Our Watersheds Report, lets us know that we have not yet turned the corner on resolving the problem.
Through 2010, there were 497 culverts at least partially blocking anadromous migration in the Skagit River watershed, and through 2014 this number had increased to 580 culverts. The Skagit River Recovery Plan recommends governments be held accountable for repairing culverts under their jurisdiction. Currently in the Skagit watershed 52% of all barrier culverts are under government jurisdiction.
For culvert repair to be meaningful to the recovery of Chinook salmon, governments need to commit to an accelerated schedule of culvert repair.