Feb. 28, 2012
SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a request to the waive fish passage requirement for a proposed new in-stream dam on Johnson Creek near Bandon.
The Bandon Cranberry Water Control District (Johnson Creek sub-division) has requested the waiver and has proposed replacing four culverts on Blair Creek, a subwatershed of the Coquille River, to mitigate for the loss of passage on Johnson Creek. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be asked to approve the waiver at its April 20, 2012 meeting in Salem.
In the meantime, members of the public will have until March 21, 2012 to submit written comments on the proposed plan.
The applicant’s plan to construct a new in-stream dam has triggered a state requirement to consider fish passage as a part of the project. Currently, Johnson Creek at the site of the proposed dam does not present a barrier to the upstream passage of native migratory fish; however, there are other artificial obstructions below the project site that preclude fish passage.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission can agree to waive the passage requirement on Johnson Creek if the replacement of the four culverts on Blair Creek would provide more benefit to native migratory fish. The applicant has proposed replacing four deficient culverts on Blair Creek with new culvert crossings that meet fish passage requirements.
ODFW has made an initial determination that the four new culverts in Blair Creek would result in a net benefit to migratory fish by opening approximately 2.08 miles of additional habitat for salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout and Pacific lamprey.
Copies of the fish passage waiver application, ODFW benefit analysis and proposed waiver agreement can be found on the Fish Passage page of the ODFW website.
Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program Coordinator, 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 April 20, 2012 at ODFW headquarters in Salem.