Replacement of Griff Creek Barrier Culvert
Olympic National Park is seeking public input regarding a proposal to restore access for bull trout and other fish to Griff Creek through the replacement of a fish-blocking culvert under the Olympic Hot Springs Road. Park staff proposes to replace the existing culvert with a bridge or culvert that is properly sized to allow fish passage and restore natural river processes.
The steel culvert now in use is approximately five feet in diameter and creates a complete barrier to upstream migration of bull trout (a threatened species), rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and other resident species in the Elwha watershed.
"Replacing this culvert is an important step that needs to be taken before dam removal can begin on the Elwha River," said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin. "By restoring fish access to Griff Creek, we will provide native fish with additional high quality habitat and a clear-water refuge during dam removal, when the river itself will carry high sediment loads."
Griff Creek is a sizable tributary to the Elwha River, with nearly a half-mile of high quality spawning and rearing habitat above the culvert. A new fish-friendly culvert or bridge will allow upstream migration for a variety of native fish, including anadromous fish that will be restored to the Elwha once the dams are removed. The creek passes under the Olympic Hot Springs Road near the Olympic National Park Elwha Ranger Station.
Olympic National Park Superintendent – Griff Creek Culvert Replacement
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362