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

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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 at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/passage/task_force.asp.

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.

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Contact:

Katherine Nordholm (503) 507-5843, Katherine.E.Nordholm@odfw.oregon.gov

 
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