|Photo by Nick Calabrese
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has developed new fish passage policy guidance and project review procedures for instream habitat restoration projects designed to specifically mimic instream natural habitat features created by beavers and beaver dams. The state’s fish passage policy (ORS 509.585) administered by ODFW requires owners-operators of artificial obstructions which include channel-spanning habitat restoration structures, to notify and submit project design details for ODFW fish passage review and approval. In some instances these fish passage rules and regulations deter or delay instream habitat restoration activities. The primary goal of this new policy guidance bulletin (see below) is to streamline and expedite the state’s fish passage review and approval procedures for instream habitat restoration projects designed and implemented to specifically mimic natural habitat features created by beaver and beaver dams. The policy guidance bulletin clarifies when ODFW’s fish passage approval is required for instream habitat restoration actions, including but are not limited to Beaver Dam Analogues (BDA), Vertical Post Structures (VPS), Post-Assisted Log Structures (PALS), and Artificial Beaver Dams (ABDs). The bulletin describes the ODFW fish passage review and approval procedures for different instream habitat restoration activities and defines expedited timelines associated with fish passage permit acquisition.
The primary tenants of this new policy guidance bulletin and the information provided below are to provide regulatory incentives realized through an expedited ODFW fish passage review and approval process for specific instream habitat restoration activities developed to create complex instream fish habitats that simulate and mimic natural habitat features created by beaver dams, while simultaneously constructing physical habitat features that encourage and promote beaver dam construction and/or re-establishment.
The primary goals and objectives of the information provided by these resources are to provide habitat restoration practitioners and project proponents fundamental planning and design guidance information on low risk, low cost and low impact instream habitat restoration actions that can be hand-built, permeable, low-profile, temporary, and use untreated organic materials that mimic function habitat created by natural beaver dam and will be maintained to not become native fish migration impediments.
For information on fish passage at instream habitat restoration actions, please contact:
Greg Apke, Fish Passage Coordinator, at Greg.D.Apke@odfw.oregon.gov 503-947-6228 or
Katherine Nordholm, Fish Screening and Passage Coordinator, at Katherine.E.Nordholm@odfw.oregon.gov 503-947-6274.
Restoration Guidance Documents
- Pollock, M.M., G.M. Lewallen, K. Woodruff, C.E. Jordan and J.M. Castro (Editors) 2018. The Beaver Restoration Guidebook: Working with Beaver to Restore Streams, Wetlands, and Floodplains. Version 2.01. Online@: OFWO - Beaver Restoration
- Wheaton J.M. et al. 2019 Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes Design Manual Version 1.0 Riverscapes Restoration Design Manual (pdf)