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ODFW seeks comment on seven ODOT fish passage waiver requests

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a request to waive fish passage requirements at seven existing culverts in Clatsop and Tillamook Counties, Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s plan to repair or replace these culverts has triggered the State’s fish passage requirements:

  • Unnamed tributary to Soapstone Creek @ Highway 53, MP 3.11;
  • Unnamed tributary to Soapstone Creek @ Highway 53, MP 3.55;
  • Unnamed tributary to Soapstone Creek @ Highway 53, MP 3.83;
  • Unnamed tributary to N FK of Nehalem River @ Highway 53, MP 11.30;
  • Unnamed tributary to N FK of Nehalem River @ Highway 53, MP 12.34;
  • Unnamed tributary to N FK of Klaskanine River @ Highway 202, MP 13.26; and
  • Unnamed tributary to N FK of Klaskanine River @ Highway 202, MP 15.15.

ODOT has requested the waivers from fish passage under a mitigation banking pilot agreement and has proposed to mitigate for the loss of fish passage at these seven culverts by using available fish passage banking credits at their East Fork and South Fork Trask River Dam Removal Fish Passage Mitigation Bank. The Fish Passage Task Force will consider these waivers and provide a recommendation to the Department at its June 16, 2017 meeting.

In the meantime, members of the public will have until June 14, 2017 to submit written comments on the proposed fish passage waivers.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife can waive the passage requirements at an artificial obstruction, if the proposed mitigation provides a net benefit to native migratory fish. In this case, the applicant has proposed using available fish passage banking credits is lieu of passage at the culvert sites. ODFW has made an initial determination that the proposed mitigation would provide a net benefit to native migratory fish by allowing fish passage into more than 20 miles of high quality habitat suitable for various life stages of cutthroat trout, coho salmon, Chinook salmon, Pacific lamprey, and steelhead upstream of the former East Fork and South Fork of the Trask River Dam site. Habitat upstream of the seven waiver culvert is limited to less than 0.5 miles at each site and a total of 1.68 miles, and of generally poorer quality.

Copies of the fish passage waiver application and ODFW net benefit analysis and can be found on the ODFW Web site.

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program Coordinator, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr., Salem, Ore. 97302, 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 Passage Task Force meeting on June 16, 2017 at ODFW headquarters in Salem.

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Contact:

Greg Apke (503) 947-6228
Art Martin (503) 947-6234
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023

 
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