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Corps to begin construction for fish reefs on Monongahela River

Pittsburgh District
Published Oct. 25, 2023
A map depicting the fish reef-construction locations along the Monongahela River.

A map depicting the fish reef-construction locations along the Monongahela River.

A technical profile of the rock dikes that will be constructed underwater to create the fish reefs along the Monongahela River. The pool level depicted in this profile is the pool that will be created after Elizabeth Locks and Dam is removed.

A technical profile of the rock dikes that will be constructed underwater to create the fish reefs along the Monongahela River. The pool level depicted in this profile is the pool that will be created after Elizabeth Locks and Dam is removed.

A technical plan view of the rock dikes that will be constructed underwater along the Monongahela River.

A technical plan view of the rock dikes that will be constructed underwater along the Monongahela River.

A technical profile of the rock dikes that will be constructed underwater to create the fish reefs along the Monongahela River. The pool level depicted in this profile is the pool that will be created after Elizabeth Locks and Dam is removed.

A technical profile of the rock dikes that will be constructed underwater to create the fish reefs along the Monongahela River. The pool level depicted in this profile is the pool that will be created after Elizabeth Locks and Dam is removed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District is notifying the public that onsite work to build stone fish reefs on the Monongahela River near the borough of Elizabeth will begin Oct. 30.

The work is the first of five segments of a $2.4 million contract to install the fish reefs between Monongahela River miles 21.3 and 33.5. The work will begin at river mile 33.5 in Pool 3, between Victory Hills and the city of Monongahela, and continue downstream to river mile 21.3 in Pool 2 near Clairton, Pennsylvania.

A ‘floating plant,’ which is a barge purposed for on-river construction, will be used to import and install the stones at the river pools. The stone fish reefs’ purpose is to mitigate habitat loss that will result from removing Elizabeth Locks and Dam.

Construction work will not affect private property located along the river. The river-navigation channel and commercial navigation will not be affected by the construction.

The fish reefs construction is a part of the Lower Monongahela River project, which includes the construction of the larger lock chamber at Charleroi Locks and Dam, and the removal of Lock and Dam 3 at Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. Corps of Engineers contractors have completed Pool 3 channel dredging and installed the gated dam at Braddock Locks and Dam.

“Building these fish reefs will help us mitigate ecosystem impacts from removing Elizabeth Locks and Dam, as well as create connectivity between pools 2 and 3,” said Steve Frost, the project manager for the Lower Monongahela River project. “We’re excited to see this project move forward.”

Frost says the reef locations may vary depending on the river site conditions (see the enclosed map for fish reef locations).

Each reef will extend 50 feet into the river, perpendicular to the shoreline.

After contractors remove the dam at Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, and pool level equalization, 52 fish reefs will have a 3-foot draft (water depth over the reef) or more, and 21 reefs will have between 1- and 3-foot draft.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, PA Fish & Boat Commission and PA Department of Environmental Protection have coordinated with the Corps of Engineers regarding the fish reef construction.

 

Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles include parts of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland, and southwestern New York. Our jurisdiction includes more than 328 miles of navigable waterways, 23 navigation locks and dams, 16 multi-purpose reservoirs, 42 local flood-protection projects, and other projects to protect and enhance the Nation’s water resources, infrastructure and environment.

To find USACE Pittsburgh District’s published photos & videos, visit:
DVIDS: https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/USACE-PIT

Website: https://www.lrp.usace.army.mil

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/pittsburghusace

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Contact
Public Affairs Office
412-395-7500
CELRP-PA@usace.army.mil
1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Release no. 23-022

Chick Lock

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