Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Massachusetts
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Massachusetts Project

Development of a Rapid Assessment Protocol for Aquatic Passability of Tidally Influenced Road-Stream Crossings

January 2016 - September 2017


Participating Agencies

  • Wildlife Management Institute/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As part of a project funded by the North Atlantic LCC, a unified protocol has been developed for the rapid assessment of stream crossings focusing on aquatic connectivity. This protocol and an effort to coordinate and support crossings assessments throughout the region was launched in June 2015 as the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC). The protocol developed for the NAACC is for non-tidal streams and rivers. It is not suitable for tidal crossings because it does not account for the bi-directional flow and daily variations in depth and velocity that are typical of tidal streams. Aquatic organism passage through road-stream crossings on tidal streams is of critical importance not only for fish and other organisms that live in coastal marshes and estuaries, but also for diadromous fish that must pass through the tidal portions of streams to reach important habitat further upstream. We propose to begin development of a rapid assessment field protocol for the assessment of aquatic organism passage at road-stream crossings on tidal streams that can be integrated into the larger NAACC initiative. This first phase of the process will focus on assembling information on the organisms and issues that should be addressed by such a protocol, the convening of an expert technical advisory committee to provide input and critical review of the materials developed as part of the project, and development of a draft field assessment protocol and scoring system for road-stream crossings on tidal streams.

Research Publications Publication Date
Becker, S., S. Jackson, A. Jordaan, and A. Roy. 2018. Impacts of Tidal Road-Stream Crossings on Aquatic Organism Passage. U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Cooperator Science Series FWS/CSS-131-2018, Washington, D.C. | Publisher Website August 2018