Coyote Creek Project

Project Location: Coyote Creek, Elko County, Nevada
Date Completed: Fall 2005

Coyote Creek is a tributary to Maggie Creek and supports a population of Lahontan cutthroat trout. The barrier on Coyote Creek prevented fish passage and limited movement and connectivity between the two populations.

The pre-project condition consisted of a single, undersized culvert that was perched above the stream. Prior to 2005, some adult cutthroat were able to pass this structure and reach upstream habitat; however, a high flow event in 2005 increased the drop and resulted in vertical and velocity barriers that prevented fish migration. In addition to preventing fish passage, the non-functioning culverts were unable to accommodate flood flows, which submerged the county road and made travel impassable.

The single, nonfunctioning culvert was replaced with two, much larger, backwatered double pipe arch culverts to allow for passage of all life forms. However, the space between the double pipe arch accumulated sticks and other debris following severe flooding in April of 2006. Culvert capacity was subsequently reduced and one of the culverts filled with sediment.

The new design allows fish and aquatic wildlife to successfully pass through one of the pipes. The redesigned culvert system also improved flood flow conveyance and reduced county road maintenance needs. However, the other culvert remains partially filled with sediment. Although some of the material accumulating at the inlet was removed by county road crews, additional mechanical work or scouring flows may be needed to make culverts fully functional. 

 Coyote Creek Pre-project Condition – Spring 2005  Coyote Creek Post-construction Condition – Fall 2005 Coyote Creek Semi-functioning Condition – Summer 2006
 Pre-project Condition – Spring 2005  Post-construction Condition – Fall 2005  Semi-functioning Condition – Summer 2006
 Coyote Creek Semi-functioning Condition (outlet) – 2008  Coyote Creek Semi-functioning Condition (inlet) – 2008
 Semi-functioning Condition (outlet) – 2008  Semi-functioning Condition (inlet) – 2008