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ODFW seeks comment on Coos County fish passage waiver

August 28, 2009


SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a request to waive fish passage requirements on an unnamed tributary to Upper Rock Creek in Coos County.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has requested a waiver from Oregon Fish Passage laws (ORS 509.585) that require providing fish passage at artificial obstructions. The BLM has proposed replacing a culvert located at T29S R10W section 35, near the town of Remote on an unnamed tributary to Upper Rock Creek, a direct tributary to the Middle Fork Coquille River. The new culvert will not provide passage for migratory fish.

Instead, the BLM has proposed replacing an impassable culvert on Smith Creek, a tributary of King Creek, a direct tributary of the Middle Fork Coquille River as mitigation for the lack of passage on the Upper Rock Creek tributary.

Members of the public will have until 5:00 pm September 23, 2009 to submit written comments on the BLM’s proposed plan to forego providing fish passage on the Upper Rock Creek tributary.

The Department, or the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, can agree to waive the fish passage requirement if the net benefit of the Smith Creek project exceeds the loss of fish passage on the Upper Rock Creek tributary. The Department has made an initial determination that the BLM’s proposed mitigation plan at the Smith Creek Culvert would result in a net benefit to native migratory fish by making approximately 1.07-miles of habitat accessible for all native migratory fish species in Smith Creek.

The fish passage waiver application, draft waiver agreement, and the Department’s net benefit analysis for this request are available for review and can be found on the Department’s Fish Passage Program website Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program leader, 3406 NE Cherry Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97303, e-mail,, or by calling (503) 947-6228.




Greg Apke (503) 947-6228
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023


(503) 947-6009

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