Evidence Suggests Culverts to Blame for Poor Runs

New evidence suggests poor salmon runs in the Matanuska Valley could be tied to habitat degradation caused by rapid development in the region.

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by Associated Press

ANCHORAGE- New evidence suggests poor salmon runs in the Matanuska Valley could be tied to habitat degradation caused by rapid development in the region.
The Matanuska Susitna Borough would like more money for salmon management studies. But Larry Engle, who is on the borough's fish and wildlife commission, recently told the Assembly he believes a serious problem has already been identified: culverts.
He says hundreds of miles of salmon habitat are not fully used or used at all, because of the barriers. He says almost three quarters of the 668 culverts evaluated by the state Fish and Game Department were deemed unsatisfactory for fish passage.
He also noted that the borough has replaced about 80 culverts so far, at a cost of $6 million.