This restoration project near Pine Grove Baptist Church on Highlands Road in Franklin removed a culvert and replaced a bridge. It was funded through the Aquatic Organism Passage program of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Prior to the removal of the barriers, a study was conducted to assess the number of fish in Walnut Creek. The study was then compared to data from Mainspring’s 30-year-old Aquatic Biomonitoring Program from nearby Peaceful Cove Creek and the Cullasaja River. Based on the data, up to 14 more fish species can now access the creek’s cooler waters when river temperatures rise each summer. The restoration also allows fish that get washed downstream during heavy rains to return back upstream.