SALEM, Ore. -- ODFW is seeking public comment on an Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) request to waive fish passage for a highway project near Eugene on an unnamed tributary of the Willamette River located on Interstate 5, Mile Post 192.25 in Lane County.
Artificial obstructions must provide passage for native migratory fish whenever they are installed or repaired. ODOT plans to replace the Willamette River bridges and decommission the existing detour bridge located at Mile Point 192.25 on Interstate 5. The project includes the placement of approximately 5 feet of fill over an existing culvert. This triggers the Oregon fish passage law that requires ODOT to provide fish passage at the site, or to provide mitigation at an alternative site.
To mitigate for the loss of fish passage, ODOT proposes to provide fish passage at an existing artificial obstruction located immediately below (downstream) of this site on the same unnamed tributary of the Willamette River at I-5, MP 192.25
“The department has determined that the proposed mitigation would provide a net benefit to fish even with the loss of passage at the Interstate 5 site,” said Greg Apke, ODFW fish passage program leader. “So unless we receive public comments that would cause us to change this determination, the fish passage waiver will be approved.”
The ODOT waiver application, proposed waiver agreement, and benefit analysis are available at the ODFW website. Written comments, or requests for additional information, should be sent to Greg Apke, ODFW, 3406 Ave. NE, Salem OR 97303 or Greg.D.Apke@state.or.us, or by calling (503) 947-6228.
Written comments must be received by June 26, 2009 to be considered.