SALEM, Ore. – The ODFW is seeking public comment on an Oregon Department of Transportation request to waive fish passage for a culvert repair project on an unnamed tributary of Yaquina River located on Highway 20 in Lincoln County.
Artificial obstructions must provide passage for native fish whenever they are installed or repaired. When ODOT installed an emergency slip-lining to an existing culvert-road crossing in the winter of 2007 it triggered 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 passage, ODOT has proposed replacing an existing culvert on a nearby creek on Highway 180, also unnamed, that currently blocks fish passage. Once repaired the culvert would provide passage for migrating fish to an additional 2,400 feet of stream habitat.
“The department has determined that the mitigation project would provide a net benefit to fish even with the loss of passage at the Highway 20 site,” said Greg Apke, ODFW fish passage program leader. “So unless we receive public comments that would cause us to change this determination, the 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 May 28, 2009 to be considered.