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ODFW seeks comment on two ODOT fish passage exemption requests

SALEM, Ore. – ODFW is seeking public comment on requests to exempt the fish passage requirements for the following two existing Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) culverts located in Lane and Klamath counties:

Fin Roberts Creek @ Highway 58, MP 44.54 (Lane County)
Rosary Creek @ Highway 58, MP 64.27 (Klamath County)

ODOT plans to repair or replace the culverts at the above locations which will trigger Oregon’s State fish passage requirements. ODFW can exempt the passage requirements at an artificial obstruction if providing passage at the site would not provide an appreciable benefit to native migratory fish.

Fin Roberts Creek historically provided habitat for cutthroat trout. However, the current stream differs from its historical path. In its current configuration, a full fish passage barrier blocks upstream access before the ODOT culvert. Therefore, providing passage would not benefit native migratory fish.

Historically, Rosary Creek provided habitat for redband trout. Fish have access to Rosary Creek up to the ODOT culvert on Highway 58. However, approximately 50 feet above the highway, another culvert fully blocks fish passage. Therefore, if passage were provided at the Highway 58 culvert, fish would gain access to only 50 feet of habitat.

ODFW has made an initial determination that providing passage at either site would not provide an appreciable benefit to native migratory fish. Therefore, unless public comments are provided that would affect ODFW’s determinations, the exemption request may be approved.

The Fish Passage Task Force will be asked to consider these two exemptions and provide a recommendation to the Department at its virtual meeting on Feb. 26, 2021.

Project details, the fish passage exemption application, and ODFW benefit analysis and supporting information can be found at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/passage/.

Written public comments may be submitted through Feb. 17, 2021.

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Katherine Nordholm, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr., Salem, Ore. 97302, email Katherine.E.Nordholm@state.or.us , or by calling (503) 947-6274.

There also will be an opportunity for public comment at the Fish Passage Task Force meeting on Feb. 26, 2021. If you wish to provide a verbal public comment, you must pre-register 48 hours in advance of the meeting.