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ODFW seeks comment fish passage exemption for DeLaura Beach Lane
April 5, 2011


SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a request to exempt from fish passage requirements two existing culverts located on DeLaura Beach Lane near Warrenton in Clatsop County. Public comments are due by April 26, 2011.

The City of Warrenton has proposed construction of a bicycle path along DeLaura Beach Lane located north of Seaside in Clatsop County. In order to construct this path, two culverts will need to be lengthened. These culverts connect wetlands that were historically connected to upper Neacoxie Creek. This proposed action has triggered Oregon’s fish passage laws.

Historically, Neacoxie Creek flowed from north to south and emptied into the lower Necanicum River at the estuary. However, the connection between the creek and the estuary was severed by the construction of the Camp Rilea military base. This transformed upper Neacoxie Creek into a series of wetlands with no connection to a waterbody containing native migratory fish.

According to Ken Loffink, ODFW assistant Fish Passage Program coordinator, ODFW may grant the exemption if there is no appreciable benefit to fish from providing passage. At the DeLaura Beach Lane site, fish passage barriers below the culvert block fish from accessing the project area, as well as the roughly 0.75 miles of habitat located upstream. Currently there are no native migratory fish present in these landlocked wetland lakes, and conditions relevant to fish access are unlikely to change in the future.

Because of these site conditions, ODFW has made an initial determination that even if the City of Warrenton provided fish passage, the action would not result in an appreciable benefit to native migratory fish.

Therefore, unless public comment is provided that would affect the Department's determination, the exemption request will be approved.

In the meantime, members of the public will have until April 26, 2011 to submit written comments on the proposed plan. The City of Warrenton’s fish passage exemption application and the Department’s benefit analysis are available at .

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Ken Loffink, ODFW Assistant Fish Passage Program Coordinator, 3406 NE Cherry Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97303, e-mail,, or by calling (503) 947-6256.



Ken Loffink (503) 947-6256
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023

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