State: Ohio

County: Jefferson

Water Bodies Affected: North Fork Wills Creek, Cross Creek

Currently on the North Fork of Wills Creek there is an in stream crossing that is contributing to sediment loads and restricted fish passage. This project involves the installation of a recessed or open bottom concrete box culvert that will remove vehicle traffic from the stream at the crossing and allow for unrestricted fish passage throughout the year. Completion of this project will provide a reliable stream crossing for motorists, increased aquatic habitat quality and quantity, and help reduce sedimentation in the North Fork of Wills Creek and ultimately the Ohio River.

This project site is directly upstream from a proposed fish passage barrier removal project (Fish Passage Grant Proposal). The removal of the identified downstream perched culvert and this low water crossing will greatly increase fish and other aquatic movement upstream and improve overall stream quality and diversity. Increases in overall QHEI and IBI scores and reductions of downstream sedimentation will restore the full run of the North Fork of Wills Creek. Specific goals are to increase upstream Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) and Quality Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) scores by 10+ points to 52 and 77 respectively, reduce downstream sedimentation by 140+ tons per year, and survey site conditions biannually to quantify benefits to the system.