Hwy. 67 culvert redesign in Wis. to aid aquatic habitat

Dec. 8, 2017

WISDOT was going to replace the culvert, but money from a federal grant sped up the process

Fishing is a pretty big deal in certain parts of Wisconsin, and one of those parts is Fond du Lac County. According to a story by local Fox affiliate 11, the shoreline of the 423-acre Long Lake is an excellent spot for all kinds of catch.

“Crappies, bluegill, perch, walleye, northern [pike] and bass,” Charlie Benson, Long Lake Fishing Club President, told the news agency. But, he added, it used to be better.

"Walleye and northern used to run up in this creek in the spring. But in the 40s, or early 50s, the [DOT] changed the road. They put a culvert in that was like 18 in. higher than the water coming out of it. The spillway. They could no longer get up it,” he said.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WISDOT) has finally decided to do something about that. WISDOT had planned to replace the pipes in 2020, but a federal grant allowed it to install a box-shaped culvert instead.

Working with the Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and local fishing clubs, WISDOT slightly realigned the box culver to get a better natural flow of water. Project leaders say the natural habitat stretches through the culvert making it easier for fish to now go with the flow.

Part of Hwy. 67 was shut down for two and a half months during construction. The $700,000 grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will cover most of the project cost. WISDOT is footing the rest.