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WA State TU’s Barrier Assessment Team (BAT) Program

Background

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that WA State must fund the work necessary to replace all culverts on state land that represent a significant barrier to migrating fish. Although the ruling applied only to state lands, all landowners, including federal, county and private, are now aware that problem barriers must be replaced. Given that there are as many as 40,000 culverts around the state, and not all are equally harmful to fish, there is an immediate need to assess and prioritize culverts regarding potential impacts.

WATU & WDFW Partnership

WA TU State Council has created a unique partnership with WDFW to train and deploy a team of TU volunteers willing and able to conduct these assessments. We’re currently working to finalize the processes and procedures necessary to begin conducting the assessments after it becomes safe to do so – we will always keep the safety of our volunteers at the top of our priorities.

This web page is designed to provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding all-things-BAT-related. It’s new, so there will be on-going changes and improvements over time – suggestions are always welcome.

Welcome to BAT Land!

Header photo credit: Luke Kelly

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WA TU logo 178
WDFW logo

BAT Land (a work in progress)

BAT INFO

Please use the informational tabs below to navigate around the BAT SQUAD’s wealth of fish barrier assessment information.

Specifically, you can:

  • Educate yourself on the BAT program
  • Refresh your memory from in-person training
  • Reference WDFW’s manual
  • Reserve a BAT assessment kit
  • Complete required forms to input assessment data

BAT RULES & FAQs

WA TU Official Training Video

WDFW Training Video

Fish Use Potential and Significant Reach Training

Marking a Site as Resurveyed on BAT Map - How To

Submitting Data - How To

Finding Culverts to Survey - How To

Turning Point - How To

Reserving a BAT Kit How To

FISH USE POTENTIAL AND SIGNIFICANT REACH TRAINING SLIDES

A list of resources we have for the BAT Program:

TRAINING MATERIALS

Bat Master Guidance – Our step by step manual on BAT surveys (work in progress)

Selecting Culverts for Assessment from the WDFW Database – A guide on how to find culverts to assess using the WDFW Map

MAPPING GUIDANCE

WDFW SalmonScape – Use this to determine if a stream has fish use potential or is a significant reach.

DNR Forest Practices Application Mapping Tool – Use this to determine if a stream has fish use potential or is a significant reach.

SWIFD Map – Use this to determine if a stream has fish use potential or is a significant reach.

Printable Forms

Site ID Form – Site ID Data Form

Level A Form – Level A Data Form

BAT Kits

BAT Kit Inventory – List of items that should be in BAT kit

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

State of Salmon in Watersheds – Check out page 14 of this slide show for info on Barriers/Culverts!

Fish passage barrier assessment in Western Washington

Before you head out into the field to conduct a barrier assessment you will need to download and print the following forms.

  1. Site Information form
  2. Level A data form
  3. Level B data form
  4. Barrier Flow Chart and Percent Passability Tables form

Please use the button below to open the form in a new browser tab/window. The form is broken up into five sections that correspond with the forms above and the training information provided. Because the form is long there is an option to save and continue later which will provide you with a unique link to come back to the form and complete at a later time.

BAT Kit Reservations

BAT Regional Map

Current BAT Kit Location are as follows (Eventually there will be at least one in each of the regions on the map above):

· Edmonds · Ellensburg · Sammamish · Seattle · Kitsap County·

TU Fish Passage Barrier Assessment Viewer

FISH PASSAGE INVENTORY, ASSESSMENT & PRIORITIZATION MANUAL

WDFW’s website explaining culvert assessment and the fish passage program is here.

WDFW has created a comprehensive manual that provides detailed instructions on how to do culvert assessments. Embedded below is a copy of this PDF. This manual is the basis for all of their training.

You need to know there are two separate types of assessments and related training included in the manual:

  1. Fish barriers (culverts)
  2. Fish habitat.

Both types are discussed in the manual, but for now we need to limit our focus to the fish barrier material.

The forms people will need to access and use are found in Appendix E, pages E1 – E6, and instructions are included for each form. The required forms have been digitized and can be submitted on this page.

There’s also some additional information people may find helpful when completing the forms. That in-depth material can be found in Chapter 3, Section 3.3 “Level A Culvert Assessment”, which starts halfway down on page 3-4 and continues through p. 3-42.

If the embedded manual below doesn’t load, refresh the page and come back to this tab or download the PDF.

Ever wonder what barrier assessment training is like?

Written by Dannon Engquist
19 July 2022

Traveling to Darrington for Barrier Assessment Training was a journey that ended up being full of unexpected meaning for me. Memories of a land I had forgotten from childhood trips to Oso rose up around me in the form of mountains and general stores, rivers and bridges that we had floated under in tubes or rafts. Even the scent of the woods reminded me of warm summer days spent along the riverside, turning over rocks to see “periwinkles”, which I now know are caddisflies, and picking blackberries for my grandpa’s famous pies. It was just as striking to see how much had changed in my absence, too; the Oso slide, visible from the highway, was a stark and foreboding reminder of how very alive and dynamic this landscape was.

At Moe’s, a delightful cafe with friendly staff and great places to spend time with family and friends, the newest set of trainees and experienced assessors met under sunny skies, eager to learn. After introductions and with a game plan in mind, we traveled to our first culvert. Though eager, I was a little nervous— my background was primarily in human-facing, customer service-type roles and technology rather than field work, but this turned out to be no problem at all! Willingness to learn and to do a little forest exploration with integrity are all that are needed to help this cause.

At our first stop, we learned about the equipment we would be using, the process of assessing a culvert, and things to look out for during assessments. All the while, we were surrounded by nearly silent forest, with only the occasional passing car to remind us we were in a public space. Dividing into groups, some of us navigated down to the culvert, while others wrangled the data, and collectively bonded over the beauty of the place we found ourselves in.

Our next two stops were equally stunning, and through our work and our conversations, it was clear what we were doing was vitally important. Although many of us were interested in helping and protecting fish, learning the history of undersized culverts causing flooding, breaking down roadways, and destroying surrounding habitats, made it clear that this service is crucial not only for conservation and restoration, but the safety of our fellow adventurers and recreationalists.

To make the trip as fun as possible, I highly recommend bringing along plenty of water, clothes that are comfortable for climbing, crouching, and reaching and appropriate for the day’s weather, knee-high boots, waders, or shoes you are comfortable getting wet, sunscreen, and plenty of snacks or lunch to eat!

Dannon holds a stadia rod and stands at the inlet of the 3rd culvert, made of metal, assessed for training on July 16 2022 in Darrington
Training Videos

WA TU Official Training Video

WDFW Training Video

Fish Use Potential and Significant Reach Training

Marking a Site as Resurveyed on BAT Map - How To

Submitting Data - How To

Finding Culverts to Survey - How To

Turning Point - How To

Reserving a BAT Kit How To

Training Slides

FISH USE POTENTIAL AND SIGNIFICANT REACH TRAINING SLIDES

Training Resources

A list of resources we have for the BAT Program:

TRAINING MATERIALS

Bat Master Guidance – Our step by step manual on BAT surveys (work in progress)

Selecting Culverts for Assessment from the WDFW Database – A guide on how to find culverts to assess using the WDFW Map

MAPPING GUIDANCE

WDFW SalmonScape – Use this to determine if a stream has fish use potential or is a significant reach.

DNR Forest Practices Application Mapping Tool – Use this to determine if a stream has fish use potential or is a significant reach.

SWIFD Map – Use this to determine if a stream has fish use potential or is a significant reach.

Printable Forms

Site ID Form – Site ID Data Form

Level A Form – Level A Data Form

BAT Kits

BAT Kit Inventory – List of items that should be in BAT kit

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

State of Salmon in Watersheds – Check out page 14 of this slide show for info on Barriers/Culverts!

Fish passage barrier assessment in Western Washington
Assessment Forms

Before you head out into the field to conduct a barrier assessment you will need to download and print the following forms.

  1. Site Information form
  2. Level A data form
  3. Level B data form
  4. Barrier Flow Chart and Percent Passability Tables form

Please use the button below to open the form in a new browser tab/window. The form is broken up into five sections that correspond with the forms above and the training information provided. Because the form is long there is an option to save and continue later which will provide you with a unique link to come back to the form and complete at a later time.

Reserve Kits

BAT Kit Reservations

BAT Regional Map

Current BAT Kit Location are as follows (Eventually there will be at least one in each of the regions on the map above):

· Edmonds · Ellensburg · Sammamish · Seattle · Kitsap County·

Barrier Map

TU Fish Passage Barrier Assessment Viewer

WDFW Manual & Links

FISH PASSAGE INVENTORY, ASSESSMENT & PRIORITIZATION MANUAL

WDFW’s website explaining culvert assessment and the fish passage program is here.

WDFW has created a comprehensive manual that provides detailed instructions on how to do culvert assessments. Embedded below is a copy of this PDF. This manual is the basis for all of their training.

You need to know there are two separate types of assessments and related training included in the manual:

  1. Fish barriers (culverts)
  2. Fish habitat.

Both types are discussed in the manual, but for now we need to limit our focus to the fish barrier material.

The forms people will need to access and use are found in Appendix E, pages E1 – E6, and instructions are included for each form. The required forms have been digitized and can be submitted on this page.

There’s also some additional information people may find helpful when completing the forms. That in-depth material can be found in Chapter 3, Section 3.3 “Level A Culvert Assessment”, which starts halfway down on page 3-4 and continues through p. 3-42.

If the embedded manual below doesn’t load, refresh the page and come back to this tab or download the PDF.

What To Expect

Ever wonder what barrier assessment training is like?

Written by Dannon Engquist
19 July 2022

Traveling to Darrington for Barrier Assessment Training was a journey that ended up being full of unexpected meaning for me. Memories of a land I had forgotten from childhood trips to Oso rose up around me in the form of mountains and general stores, rivers and bridges that we had floated under in tubes or rafts. Even the scent of the woods reminded me of warm summer days spent along the riverside, turning over rocks to see “periwinkles”, which I now know are caddisflies, and picking blackberries for my grandpa’s famous pies. It was just as striking to see how much had changed in my absence, too; the Oso slide, visible from the highway, was a stark and foreboding reminder of how very alive and dynamic this landscape was.

At Moe’s, a delightful cafe with friendly staff and great places to spend time with family and friends, the newest set of trainees and experienced assessors met under sunny skies, eager to learn. After introductions and with a game plan in mind, we traveled to our first culvert. Though eager, I was a little nervous— my background was primarily in human-facing, customer service-type roles and technology rather than field work, but this turned out to be no problem at all! Willingness to learn and to do a little forest exploration with integrity are all that are needed to help this cause.

At our first stop, we learned about the equipment we would be using, the process of assessing a culvert, and things to look out for during assessments. All the while, we were surrounded by nearly silent forest, with only the occasional passing car to remind us we were in a public space. Dividing into groups, some of us navigated down to the culvert, while others wrangled the data, and collectively bonded over the beauty of the place we found ourselves in.

Our next two stops were equally stunning, and through our work and our conversations, it was clear what we were doing was vitally important. Although many of us were interested in helping and protecting fish, learning the history of undersized culverts causing flooding, breaking down roadways, and destroying surrounding habitats, made it clear that this service is crucial not only for conservation and restoration, but the safety of our fellow adventurers and recreationalists.

To make the trip as fun as possible, I highly recommend bringing along plenty of water, clothes that are comfortable for climbing, crouching, and reaching and appropriate for the day’s weather, knee-high boots, waders, or shoes you are comfortable getting wet, sunscreen, and plenty of snacks or lunch to eat!

Dannon holds a stadia rod and stands at the inlet of the 3rd culvert, made of metal, assessed for training on July 16 2022 in Darrington