SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a request to waive fish passage requirement on Tuttle Creek triggered by a proposed road culvert repair project on Highway 101 near Brookings.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has requested the waiver and has proposed replacing a culvert on Joe Hall Creek to mitigate for the loss of passage on Tuttle Creek. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be asked to approve the waiver at its Mar. 20, 2009 meeting in Salem.
In the meantime, members of the public will have until Mar. 13, 2009 to submit written comments on the proposed plan.
Currently, the Highway 101 culvert at Tuttle Creek is a barrier to the upstream passage of native migratory fish. ODOT’s plan to repair the culvert has triggered a state requirement to consider fish passage as a part of the repair.
The Commission can agree to waive the passage requirement on Tuttle Creek if the replacement of the culvert on Joe Hall Creek would provide more benefit to migratory fish. ODOT has proposed replacing the impassable culvert on Joe Hall Creek with a new bridge crossing.
ODFW has made an initial determination that a bridge crossing on Joe Hall Creek would result in a net benefit to migratory fish by opening approximately 2.22 miles of additional habitat for salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout and Pacific lamprey.
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, Greg.D.Apke@state.or.us, or by calling (503) 947-6228.
There also will be an opportunity for public comment at the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on Mar. 20, 2009 at ODFW headquarters in Salem.