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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Fish Passage Program has developed a plan to test an approach to Fish Passage Mitigation Banking in Oregon’s North Coast. In 2012, with support from ODFW staff, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Willamette Partnership and The Nature Conservancy began work on a package of tools that would support a pilot fish passage banking program. 

Mitigation Banking

Fish passage banking will allow ODFW to steer mitigation from multiple waivers toward fish passage banks – locations where high priority barriers are removed and significant benefits for fish are created. Banking will also provide ODFW, waiver applicants, and other stakeholders with a more standardized and transparent process to evaluate whether mitigation is appropriate, adequate and sustainable in terms of meeting conservation goals for native migratory fish habitat in Oregon.

A more complete overview of the Fish Passage Mitigation Banking Pilot (pdf)

Three Pilot Project Objectives

Objective A:  rigorously test and refine the Net Benefit Analysis (NBA) Tool

In order to use the NBA Tool in programmatic permitting decisions, it needs to produce credible results.  The Net Benefit Analysis Tool includes a Fish Passage Credit Calculator (Calculator) that quantifies the impact of permitted actions (debits) to fish passage and the benefits of mitigation (credits). In order to evaluate its suitability for use in a regulatory program, the Calculator will be tested in field conditions to determine its accuracy, repeatability, sensitivity and usability.

Objective B: Conduct a limited number of mitigation banking transactions

As the chief sponsor ODOT, in conjunction with ODFW, will develop a mitigation bank site by removing a high priority barrier and will use the Net Benefit Analysis Tool to estimate the number of fish passage credits generated at the site. In order to account for any risk or uncertainty associated with the calculation of credits/debits, and to ensure a net benefit for native migratory fish as a result of these transactions, ODFW and ODOT have agreed to a set of terms or conditions. 

Pilot Conditions:

  • Each waiver site will use a 3:1 ratio of credits to debits; in other words, every debit will require three credits to meet mitigation obligations under the fish passage banking program.
  • ODOT will limit the number of waivers brought against the bank to 12.
  • Each waiver site will be no more than 0.5 miles in length.

Objective C: Evaluate the potential for statewide implementation of a fish passage banking program

ODFW will be testing the feasibility of implementing a fish passage banking program statewide.  To do it must be demonstrated that the administrative procedures outlined in the Mitigation Banking Instrument, will be effective in helping ODFW implement its fish passage program and in achieving a net benefit for native migratory fish

Fish Passage Credit Calculator

The two primary project products for review include

1) Mitigation Banking Instrument Document: Describes the rules, standards, and processes under which projects will be identified, funded, operated, maintained and managed (Word document, 29 pages)

2) Net Benefit Analysis Tool: The science-based method to quantify habitat quality and quantity consisting of:

3) Sample Credit Calculations

Three sample calculations are included as part of the public review packet. These draft credit calculations are intended to demonstrate how the Net Benefit Analysis Tool and Fish Passage Credit Calculator would value real potential project locations. Credit and debit calculations were completed for a potential mitigation banking site at East Fork of the South Fork Trask River, and two proposed waiver sites at Electric Creek, and an unnamed tributary on Hwy, 53 at MP 11.3. The final credit calculations for these sites will be refined with additional analysis and information. 

The tabs within each spreadsheet shows the credit calculation process for a specific reach and produces a value for the number of debits or credits for each site. This data can be found on the Credit Calculations tab. The final debit/credit values shown are calculated from field survey data, GIS spatial data and input from local ODFW fisheries biologists. Please consult the additional summary documents for further information about the Pilot Project.

To comment on the Fish Passage Mitigation Banking Pilot Project, or for more information, contact Pete Baki, ODFW-ODOT Fish Passage Liaison, at 503-947-6234 or e-mail


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