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Public invited to comment on ODOT Highway 20 fish passage waiver

December 05, 2012

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife seeks public comment on a proposal to waive the requirements of fish passage at five different locations associated with a highway realignment project on Cougar and Eddy Creeks in Lincoln County.

The Oregon Department of Transportation proposes to install rock buttress fills at five stream crossing locations to stabilize the new highway alignment of Highway 20 between Eddyville and Toledo. ODOT is unable to provide fish passage at these locations given the unstable slopes and steep buttress fills associated with the project. Cougar and Eddy Creeks are headwater tributaries of the Yaquina River. The proposed actions have triggered Oregon’s fish passage laws.

According to Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program coordinator, ODFW may grant waivers if fish passage mitigation provides appreciable benefits to native fish compared to providing passage at the project locations. To mitigate for the impacts to native fish ODOT proposes to participate in restoration, enhancement and preservation activities at three properties in Poole and McCaffery Sloughs, located in the Yaquina River Estuary.

“ODFW staff is recommending granting the waiver,” Apke said. However, the agency continues to solicit public comments that it can consider before making the final decision, he added.

Members of the public will have until Dec. 31, 2012 to submit written comments on the proposed plan. Details on the ODOT fish passage waiver request, the ODFW net benefit analysis, and waiver agreement can be found on the ODFW fish passage website at ODFW Fish Passage Requirements.

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program Coordinator, 3406 NE Cherry Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97303, e-mail,, or by calling (503) 947-6228.



Greg Apke (503) 947-6228

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