ODFW is seeking public comment on a request to exempt from fish passage requirements a proposed culvert on OR53 MP 4.59 that conveys an unnamed tributary to Soapstone Creek in the North Fork Nehalem River basin. Comments are due no later than Sept. 24.
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) proposes to make repairs to this culvert. Given historic fish use and the significance of the repair, 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 a complete downstream barrier, ODFW has made an initial determination that even if fish passage was provided, the action would result in no appreciable benefit to native migratory fish. In the future, if conditions change, exemptions can be revoked and fish passage shall be addressed. Find more information and ODFW’s analysis of this project at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/passage/task_force.asp
Members of the public can send written comments or request additional information from Pete Baki, ODFW-ODOT Fish Passage Liaison, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr SE, Salem, OR 97303, email Pete.Baki@odfw.oregon.gov by calling (503) 586-9827.
The Fish Passage Task Force will be asked to consider this exemption and provide a recommendation to the department. There will also be an opportunity for public comment at the Fish Passage Task Force Meeting on Oct. 15. If you wish to provide a verbal comment, you must register 48 hours in advance of the meeting.