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ODFW seeks comment on five fish passage exemption requests

May 26, 2016

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is seeking public comment on requests to exempt fish passage requirements on three proposed culvert replacement projects and two existing dams located in Western Oregon.

The three culvert exemption requests are located on Little Whale Cove Creek along Highway 101 in Lincoln County and along I-5 on an unnamed tributary to Cow Creek in the South Umpqua Basin located in Douglas County. The two dam sites are located on an unnamed tributary of West Fork Coyote Creek in the Long Tom River basin in Lane County, and on an unnamed tributary to the Umpqua River in Douglas County.

For the three culvert projects, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has proposed major repairs and/or replacement of the existing culverts. At the existing dams, project owners are certifying their water rights, which is a fundamental change in permit status. Major replacement and a fundamental change in permit status are triggers to Oregon fish passage requirements.

According to Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program Coordinator, ODFW may grant passage exemptions if there are no appreciable benefits to native migratory fish from providing passage. ODFW has performed a thorough evaluation of all five project sites and has made initial determinations that providing passage at these sites will not result in appreciable benefits to native migratory fish.

Therefore, unless the agency receives public comment that would affect its determination, the exemption requests will be approved. Fish passage exemptions can be revoked and fish passage required if conditions change and an appreciable benefit to native migratory fish develops in the future.

In the meantime, members of the public will have until Friday June 17, 2016 to submit written comments on the proposed plans. The fish passage exemption applications, the  benefit analyses, and supporting materials for each exemption request are available at

Members of the public can send written comments to, or request additional information from Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program Coordinator, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, OR 97302, e-mail,, or by calling (503) 947-6228.




Greg Apke (503) 947-6256
Art Martin (503) 947-6234

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4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE   ::   Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

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