Minnesota Guide for Stream Connectivity and Aquatic Organism Passage Through Culverts

Matthew Hernick, Christian Lenhart, Jessica Kozarek, John Nieber

Publication Date:

This guide assists Minnesota culvert designers in identifying, selecting, and implementing appropriate designs for maintaining aquatic organism passage (AOP) and stream connectivity at road-stream intersections. It was synthesized from existing literature and culvert design documents, a survey of practitioners, research, and input from experts. Culvert designs often disrupt AOP, degrading stream health. Best practices for AOP at culverts were developed and summarized as follows:  1.) Design the culvert to be similar to the stream channel (reference reach), 2. Provide a continuous sediment bed with roughness similar to the channel 3.) Design for public safety, longevity, and resilience.

STAPER categories:
  • A1: Assess degraded ecosystems
  • A3: Involve all relevant stakeholders
  • A5: Assess institutional, policy, and legal frameworks & identify financial/technical resources
  • A6: Identify options to reduce the drivers biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation
  • B3: Promote and strengthen formal and informal education systems
  • B6: Review, improve or establish targets, policies and strategies for ecosystem restoration
  • B10: Promote and support capacity-building, training, and technology transfer
  • C1: Identify appropriate measures for conducting ecosystem restoration
  • C4: Develop explicit implementation tasks, schedules, and budgets
  • C5: Implement the measures
  • D3: Share lessons learned from planning, financing, implementing and monitoring ecosystem restoration plans

Resource Type:
Technical Document

Minnesota Department of Transportation