Crews hit the road to improve

a Michigan trout stream

Improvements at 10 road-stream crossings over Silver Creek improved fish passage and reduced the amount of sediment washing into the trout stream, which is a tributary of the Ocqueoc River and Lake Huron.


The conservation group Huron Pines led a coalition that undertook an effort to improve fish passage and aquatic habitat in Silver Creek, the highest quality tributary of the Ocqueoc River, which flows into Lake Huron. The coalition improved 10 road-stream crossings that either blocked fish passage or were major sources of sand and silt washing into the river and burying prime fish spawning areas. New culverts were installed at six sites and all of the roads over the creek were paved. The culverts and paving reduced sediment runoff into the creek and allowed fish and other aquatic life to move freely throughout the waterway and the Ocqueoc River. The scope of the project was also expanded to remove invasive plants and reduce sediment runoff from private property along the creek. The project is slated for completion in 2012.

Resource Challenges Addressed

  • Barriers to fish passage
  • Sediment build up
  • Poor fish spawning environment


A culvert surrounded by overgrown vegetation

Removing obstructions to fish passage, such as those pictured around the culvert above, is important to overall stream health. Credit: the Nature Conservancy

Results and Accomplishments

The project allowed trout and other fish to move freely throughout the creek, reduced the amount of harmful sand and silt washing into the creek, and increased public awareness and stewardship of the waterway.