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ODFW seeks comments on fish passage exemption request in Lane County

August 28, 2023

SALEM, Ore.—ODFW is seeking public comment on a request to exempt from fish passage requirements a proposed culvert on OR58 MP 32.05 that conveys an unnamed tributary to the Middle Fork Willamette River, near Westfir in Lane County. Comments are due no later than Sept. 19, 2023.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) proposes to extend the culvert. Given historic fish use, 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 land use changes, ODFW has made an initial determination that even if fish passage was provided to the approximately 50 feet of channel, the action would result in no appreciable benefit to native migratory fish. In the future, if conditions change from which the decision was made, exemptions can be revoked and fish passage shall be addressed.

Public comments on the proposed exemptions are accepted through Sept. 19. The fish passage exemption application and the Departments’ analysis are available at

Send written comments to, or request additional information from, Pete Baki, ODFW-ODOT Fish Passage Liaison, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr SE, Salem, OR 97303,, or by calling (503) 586-9827.

The Fish Passage Task Force will be asked to consider this exemption and provide a recommend to ODFW. There will also be an opportunity for public comment at the Fish Passage Task Force Meeting on Oct. 13, 2023. If you wish to provide a verbal comment, you must register 48 hours in advance of the meeting; a link to register will be available closer to the meeting.


Contact: Pete Baki, (503) 586-9827,
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