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Fish PassageTask Force

ODFW seeks comment on fish passage exemptions for 10 artificial dams located on Jump Creek (Grant County)

SALEM, Ore. – ODFW is seeking public comment on a request to exempt fish passage requirements on Jump Creek, a tributary stream to the Silvies River located in Grant County, Oregon.

Silvies Valley Ranch, LLC has requested an exemption to providing fish passage on Jump Creek.  The exemption requests are being filed in connection with a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) that Silvies Valley Ranch has completed with the State of Oregon Department of State Lands and ODFW. 

Silvies Valley Ranch and the State of Oregon have identified Jump Creek as a candidate for fish passage exemption while providing remedial action to provide fish passage on Paine Creek, Camp Creek and Hay Creek. Fish Passage exemptions are being sought based on a prior 10-year period where artificial beaver dams (ABDs) were constructed on Silvies Valley Ranch property. A total of 10 artificial dams have been constructed on Jump Creek and are proposed for fish passage exemptions.

In November 2019, ODFW staff conducted a survey of Jump Creek above all artificial dams and found no redband trout. In 2021 ODFW revisited the area and surveyed from the mouth of Jump Creek to the end of potential fish habitat and found no redband trout. ODFW determined that redband trout were historically present in Jump Creek. However, Jump Creek is currently isolated from its historic connection with the Silvies River. Additionally, one-half mile downstream from the lowest dam proposed for fish passage exemption on Jump Creek is an authorized impoundment that diverts flow for irrigation. This structure is a complete fish passage barrier and would prevent the movement of redband trout between lower and upper Jump Creek. ODFW has made initial determinations that even if fish passage was provided at each dam, the actions would result in no appreciable benefit to native migratory fish.

Exemptions are reviewed periodically, typically every seven years, to assess changes in habitat conditions. If in the future, habitat conditions change from which the exemption decisions were made, exemptions can be revoked, and fish passage shall be required at the artificial obstructions.

Members of the public have until Oct. 12, 2021 submit written comments on the proposed plans. Both fish passage exemption applications and the Department’s benefit analysis are available here:

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Katherine Nordholm, ODFW Fish Screening and Passage Coordinator, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr SE, Salem, OR 97302, e-mail Katherine.e.nordholm@ODFW.Oregon.gov  or by calling (503) 507-5843.


ODFW seeks comments on a fish passage waiver request for an Unnamed Tributary to Fall Creek (Benton County)

SALEM, Ore – ODFW is seeking public comments on a request to exempt the fish passage requirements for the following Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) culvert in Benton County:

ODOT emergency repairs at the Unnamed Tributary to Fall Creek culvert at OR34 MP 26.8 triggered Oregon’s State fish passage requirements.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife may grant fish passage waivers at locations if mitigation is performed that provides an appreciable benefit to native migratory fish greater than what would be achieved if fish passage was provided at the waiver site. ODOT proposes to replace a culvert on OR34 at Ryder and improve passage conditions for native migratory fish.

OR34 MP26.8 could provide passage for cutthroat trout, Pacific lamprey, Coho salmon and winter steelhead if passage were provided at the culvert location. ODFW has made the initial determination that providing the proposed mitigation package at Ryder Creek will provide a greater benefit to native migratory fish than providing passage at the Unnamed Tributary to Fall Creek.

The Fish Passage Task Force will be asked to consider the waiver application and provide a recommendation to the Department at a Fish Passage Task Force Meeting on Oct. 15, 2021.

Project details, the fish passage application and the ODFW net benefit analysis and supporting information can be found on the Fish Passage Task Force Web Site (https://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/passage/task_force.asp).

Written public comments may be submitted through Oct. 7, 2021. Send written comments or request additional information from Pete Baki, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr, Salem, OR 97302, email Pete.baki@odfw.oregon.gov, or by calling 503-586-9827.

There will also be an opportunity for public comment at the Fish Passage Task Force meeting on Oct. 15, 2021. If you wish to provide a verbal public comment, you must pre-register 48 hours in advance of the meeting (details on how to register available closer to meeting).


ODFW seeks comments on a fish passage waiver request for Indian Creek (Hood River County)

SALEM, Ore.— ODFW is seeking public comments on a request to exempt the fish passage requirements at a culvert on Hwy 281, milepost 0.845, in Hood River County.

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) emergency repairs at the Indian Creek culvert at OR281 MP 0.845 triggered Oregon’s State fish passage requirements.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife may grant fish passage waivers at locations if mitigation is performed that provides a net benefit to native migratory fish greater than what would be achieved if fish passage was provided at the waiver site. ODOT proposes to remove two water diversion structures, remove and replace a road crossing to full fish passage, and move a water return line upstream, adding additional flow instream on Evans Creek, also in Hood River County, as mitigation for not providing fish passage at the waiver site.

Indian Creek could provide passage for cutthroat trout if passage were provided at the culvert location. ODFW has made the initial determination that providing the proposed mitigation package at Evans Creek will provide a greater benefit to native migratory fish than providing passage at Indian Creek.

The Fish Passage Task Force will be asked to consider the waiver application and provide a recommendation to the Department at a Fish Passage Task Force Meeting on Oct. 15, 2021.

Written public comments may be submitted through Oct. 7, 2021. Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Pete Baki, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr, Salem, OR 97302, email Pete.baki@odfw.oregon.gov, or by calling 503-586-9827.

There will also be an opportunity for public comment at the Fish Passage Task Force meeting on Oct. 15, 2021. If you wish to provide a verbal public comment, you must pre-register 48 hours in advance of the meeting (details on registration will be available closer to the meeting).


ODFW seeks comment on a Port of Portland fish passage exemption request for the Sundial Chanel, off Salmon Creek in Multnomah County, OR

SALEM, Ore. – ODFW is seeking public comment on a request to exempt the fish passage requirements for a channel created as wetland mitigation off Salmon Creek, in Multnomah County, OR.

Historically, the area around Salmon Creek provided habitat for multiple species of native migratory fish including salmon and trout. The area was likely complex floodplain habitat of the Columbia River. However, Salmon Creek has been ditched and the area has been filled to accommodate development. A levee constructed between the Columbia River and the historic floodplain excludes native migratory fish from the system. In 2018 the Port of Portland built the Sundial Channel to create wetlands as mitigation for development of separate industrial land. Before construction in 2018 the project acquired a surface water right. However, subsequent monitoring indicated that the wetland was functioning differently than expected and a permit to store water was needed. The first water right was approved without conditions, but the review of the application to store water determined the need to address fish passage at the site.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife can exempt fish passage requirements at an artificial obstruction if passage at the site would not provide any appreciable benefit to native migratory fish. The Sundial Channel is 0.86 miles long and not built to ODFW fish passage criteria. The conditions in the channel may strand fish at certain flows. However, surveys found that there are no fish in the sounding area and fish are prevented from entering the area by a downstream barrier.

ODFW has made an initial determination that native migratory fish would not benefit from better fish passage conditions in the Sundial Channel. The Fish Passage Task Force will be asked to consider this exemption request and provide a recommendation to the Department at its virtual meeting on October 15, 2021.

Project details, the fish passage exemption application, and ODFW benefit analysis, and supporting information can be found on the ODFW Fish Passage Task Force website.

Written public comments may be submitted through October 6, 2021.

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Katherine Nordholm, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr., Salem, Ore. 97302, e-mail Katherine.e.nordholm@odfw.Oregon.gov or by calling (503) 507-5843.

There will also be an opportunity for public comment at the Fish Passage Task Force meeting on October 15, 2021. If you wish to provide a verbal public comment, you must pre-register 48 hours in advance of the meeting.


ODFW seeks comments on a fish passage exemption request for OR53 MP 4.59

SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is seeking public comment on a request to exempt from fish passage requirements a proposed culvert on OR53 MP 4.59 that conveys an unnamed tributary to Soapstone Creek in the North Fork Nehalem River basin. Comments are due on September 24, 2021.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) proposes to make repairs to this culvert. Given historic fish use and the significance of the repair, this action has triggered Oregon's fish passage laws.

According to Pete Baki, ODFW-ODOT Fish Passage Liaison, ODFW may grant fish passage exemptions if there is no appreciable benefit to native migratory fish from providing passage. Because of the lack of current native migratory fish use due to a complete downstream barrier, ODFW has made an initial determination that even if fish passage was provided, the action would result in no appreciable benefit to native migratory fish. In the future, if conditions change, exemptions can be revoked and fish passage shall be addressed.

Public comments are accepted through September 24, 2021 on the proposed exemption.

Members of the public can send written comments or request additional information from Pete Baki, ODFW-ODOT Fish Passage Liaison, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr SE, Salem, OR 97303, email Pete.Baki@odfw.oregon.gov by calling (503) 586-9827.

The Fish Passage Task Force will be asked to consider this exemption and provide a recommendation to the Department. There will also be an opportunity for public comment at the Fish Passage Task Force Meeting on Oct. 15, 2021. If you wish to provide a verbal comment, you must register 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

 

Fish Passage Task Force Vacancy Application Form (doc)

Contact: Greg Apke
Statewide Fish Passage Program Leader
greg.d.apke@odfw.oregon.gov
503-947-6228 (office) / 503-931-4361 (cell)

The Fish Passage Task Force advises the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Fish and Wildlife Commission on matters related to fish passage. These matters include, but are not limited to, rulemaking to implement statutes, funding and special conditions for passage projects, and exemptions and waivers. The nine Task Force members are chosen by the ODFW Director to represent one of three groups. Task Force member’s terms last for four years. Each Task Force member is eligible for two terms. Current Task Force members and their terms are:

MEMBER LOCATION REPRESENTING APPOINTED
Kelly Moore Corvallis Fishing and Conservation October 2019
Denise Hoffert Albany Fishing and Conservation October 2018
Terry Turner Gladstone Fishing and Conservation September 2017
Steve Albertelli Ashland Water Users October 2019
April Snell Salem Water Users April 2021
Fred Messerle Coos Bay Water Users June 2021
Zak Toledo Salem Public-At-Large September 2017
William Cunningham Bend Public-At-Large November 2015
Ken Bierly Salem Public-At-Large November 2015

Fishing and Conservation Groups

Kelly Moore worked as the ODFW West Region Fish Research Program Director from 2004 – 2015.  He has a long and unique history and perspective with Oregon’s native fishes and aquatic habitats.  His exemplary science based background and interagency work experiences provide a solid ecologic foundation for the Task Force.  Kelly’s leadership skills and expansive understanding of watershed function, restoration, and conservation will provide a unique and valued perspective.

Denise Hoffert is the owner of an environmental consulting firm.  Denise has extensive experience implementing the state’s fish passage policy, particularly as it relates to dam removal projects.  She brings a unique perspective having worked for American Rivers and various watershed councils in Oregon.  Ms. Hoffert has built many partnerships with non-profits, state and federal agencies and has an excellent track record of delivering grant funds to many restoration projects in Oregon. 

Terry Turner, is an active member and Oregon Council Chair of Trout Unlimited (TU).  Most recently, as the TU Executive Committee Leader, he played a pivotal role leading the Salmon Super Hwy Fish Passage Restoration Project in Oregon’s North Coast.  He is no stranger to large-scale collaborative fish passage and community infrastructure improvement projects and will represent fishing and conservation interests well.  He has volunteered with ODFW for many years participating on numerous volunteer projects and is been an active agency advocate and proponent.

Water User Groups

Steve Albertelli is employed by Pacific Power as a Hydropower License Program Manager with emphasis in the Rogue and Umpqua River Basins.  Steve has many years of experience in the hydropower license arena, specifically with implementation of the North Umpqua project license and relicensing of the Prospect No. 3 project for Pacific Power.  Steve will bring new and diverse perspectives into the FPTF.  His experience and interest in seeking collaborative, balanced natural resource outcomes and solutions are a valuable asset to the Department.

April Snell, is the Executive Director of the Oregon Water Resources Congress (OWRC), a nonprofit association representing irrigation districts, water control districts, drainage districts, and other agricultural water suppliers around the state. April has been with OWRC since 2007 and previously worked at the Oregon Water Resources Department. She has extensive experience with water policy, water infrastructure funding, and other state and federal natural resources issues. She has a Master’s in Public Administration, Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, and Bachelor’s in Political Science with honors, all from the University of Oregon.

Fred Messerle, resides in Coos Bay and is the owner and manager of Messerle and Sons, Inc.  In this capacity he is an owner/operator of agricultural and forestry related fish passage artificial obstructions (culverts, tide-gates, berms, roads, and obstructed stream channels).  He is a water user and presently manages the Beaver Slough Drainage District.  He has a genuine interest in representing the owner/operator/users of artificial obstructions and is committed to bringing a balanced perspective to the Task Force.

Public-at-Large

Zak Toledo, has over 20-years of experience in natural resource management. He has an advanced degree from Oregon State University and served in the Oregon Army National Guard. As a regulatory policy analyst and aquatic ecologist for a large consulting firm he has worked throughout the state. He has extensive experience in streamlined programmatic environmental permitting strategies ranging from fluvial performance, water quality, and fish passage. He has worked with and represented diverse stakeholder teams and brings a focused collaborative perspective and approach to integrating disparate policies and regulations for the benefit of effective natural resource management.

William Cunningham, is an avid fisherman and conservationist who has both pursued and actively worked to protect migratory fish in Oregon, California, and Idaho. He is retired after working thirty years as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California representing California Fish and Game and other California natural resource agencies. He worked as legal counsel for the California Fish and Game Commission for over six years, and helped draft statewide regulations for protection of California migratory fish species including provisions specifically designed to enhance fish passage.

Ken Bierly, is a promoter of wetland and waterway health. Mr. Bierly was the Wetlands Program Director for the Department of State Lands form 1983 to 1996, the Governor’s Watershed Enhancement Board Program Manager on Governor Kitzhaber’s staff from 1996-1999, and the Deputy Director of the Watershed Enhancement Board from 1999 until his retirement in 2013. In these roles he drafted administrative rules on wetland permitting, provided administrative enforcement for wetland and waterways laws, oversaw the development of the Oregon Watershed Assessment Guide, and performed a variety of other duties associated with protecting Oregon’s waterways, including testifying to both state and federal legislative committees.

Meeting Schedule, Agenda and Minutes (pdfs)
2021 Meetings Location Agenda (pdf) Minutes (pdf)
February 26, 2021 Salem or Skype Agenda Minutes
June 4, 2021 Virtual Meeting Agenda  
October 15, 2021 Salem or Skype Agenda  
December 3, 2021 Salem or Skype    
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