West Fork Environmental has been conducting research on the passage of resident coastal cutthroat trout through corrugated metal culverts. This research has been done in a test culvert at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fish hatchery on the Skookumchuck River. The trials have utilized wild cutthroat trout from tributaries of the upper Skookumchuck. Funding for this work has primarily been provided by the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI). This spring we concluded a study of how drop height at the outlet of the culvert and water velocity inside the culvert would affect successful entry of fish into the pipe. Our ability to control velocity, outfall drop and tailwater pool conditions permitted us to experimentally assess the dual influences of drop height and water velocity on the ability of fish to successfully enter and pass through the test culvert.
West Fork Environmental is currently working with several forest land owners to develop field studies to test passage of coastal cutthroat trout at culverts with drop heights and velocities similar to those tested at the CTB. The questions being addressed in this research seek to place in context the significance of partial passage for resident cutthroat trout populations. Several additional videos showing successful entry by trout of several size classes at different test parameters are available for viewing on the Highlighted Fisheries projects page (see link under Passage probability of cutthroat through culverts).
February 2, 2012
You’ve known us previously as Forest & Channel Metrics. We’ve changed our name and we’d like you to know why.
You’re working with the same company - same dedicated, enthusiastic, insightful, hardworking people.
So what’s new, why the change?
The down-to-earth-truth, which is what you’ve already come to expect from us, is simply that
West Fork Environmental is a great name for us, for who we are and what we do.
A name forever rooted in river geography,
of forks that converge to form confluences – confluences of water, land, people and purpose.
A name that associates not only with the great rivers of our region, but the forests, the canyon and range and crop lands too.
And as importantly, it’s a name that speaks to renewal, to the need to nurture and feed what feeds us all.
A NAME TO WORK WITH, A NAME TO GROW WITH, A NAME TO KNOW
Putting Science to Work
December 20, 2011
In December West Fork Environmental biologists assisted Seattle Public Utilities in PIT tagging adult pygmy whitefish (Prosopium coulteri) in the upper Cedar River in eastern King County, WA. This population of whitefish is rare (only 6 other known from WA) and constitutes an important prey item for threatened bull trout that live in suburban Seattle's water supply - Chester Morse Lake.
West Fork Environmental has assisted Seattle Public Utilities with this project since 2006. The project began with the installation of full-duplex PIT tag (RFID) interrogation sites on the mainstem Cedar River upstream of Chester Morse Lake and in other tributaries. The interrogation site was initially installed to track the movement of tagged adult and juvenile bull trout within the lake and river system. The tagging of pygmy whitefish has been conducted as an additional measure to understand the relationship between bull trout and the population dynamics of this important prey species. For more information visit the Cedar River Watershed website.