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Pittsburgh District Awards Contract for Fish Reefs on Monongahela River

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

Posted on June 14, 2023

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District announces the contract award for more than $2.4 million to build 73 stone fish reefs on the Monongahela River.

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 the gated dam at Braddock Locks and Dam.

“The purpose of the fish reefs is to mitigate the loss of habitat that will result from removing Elizabeth Locks and Dam,” said Stephen Frost, the project manager for the Lower Monongahela River project. “The goal is to place the reefs before removing the dam in summer of 2024.”

The contractor will place the fish reefs between river mile 21.3 in Pool 2 near Clairton, Pennsylvania to river mile 33.5 in Pool 3 near the PA Fish Commission Boat Ramp, between the city of Monongahela and Victory Hills.

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

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

“While the fish reefs will not interfere with the navigable channel, once the reefs are in place, recreational boaters should be aware of the locations of the reefs to avoid damage to their boats,” said Frost.

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.

Gregori Construction Inc. of Sarver, Pennsylvania, is the contracted provider for the fish reef-construction contract. The Pittsburgh District expects construction to begin in mid-July 2023.

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: Website:


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