ODFW

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) seeks public comments on a fish passage waiver request by the Roseburg Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and a fish passage exemption request by the Warrenton-Hammond School District from the state’s fish passage requirements. Comments are due by Friday, Feb. 14.

The project specific details (Applicant’s fish passage waiver/exemption application, ODFW’s benefit analyses and a draft waiver agreement) are available at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/passage/.

The BLM plans to replace a road culvert located on Bear Creek, a tributary to the South Umpqua River in Douglas County. This action has triggered Oregon’s fish passage laws. In lieu of providing passage at this location, the BLM proposes to replace another culvert located on Corn Creek, a tributary of the South Umpqua River also in Douglas County.

The Warrenton-Hammond School District plans to extend a road culvert on an existing road which provides access into a future site of the school district’s new campus in Clatsop County. This action has triggered Oregon’s fish passage laws. Given there is no fish habitat available at this location, the school district seeks an exemption from providing fish passage.

According to Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program coordinator, the department may grant a fish passage waiver if there are appreciable benefits to native migratory fish (NMF) greater at the mitigation site compared to the waiver site if passage were provided. Similarly, the Department may grant a fish passage exemption if there are no benefits to NMF if passage were provided.

ODFW has made an initial determination that providing fish passage at the Corn Creek Culvert mitigation site will provide greater benefits than if passage were provided at the Bear Creek Culver waiver site. ODFW has also made the initial determination that even if fish passage was provided at the Warrenton-Hammond School District Culvert, the action would still result in no net benefit to NMF. Therefore, unless public comments are provided that would affect the department’s determinations, the waiver and exemption requests may be approved.

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program leader, 4034 Fairview Industrial Sr SE, Salem, OR 97303, email at Greg.D.Apke@state.or.us, or by calling 503-947-6228.

The fish passage waiver and exemption requests will be presented to the Oregon Fish Passage Task Force for their recommendation at an upcoming meeting at the ODFW Headquarters Office in Salem on Feb. 28. Public comments will be provided to the Task Force for their consideration.

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