ODFW seeks comment on fish passage exemption in Linn County

SALEM, Ore. — ODFW seeks public comment on a request to exempt from fish passage requirements a proposed alternate reservoir (earthen dam) project owned and managed by Mr. Jared Cate. The proposed project is situated on an unnamed headwater tributary to Mill Creek, a direct tributary to South Santiam River in Linn County.

Comments are due by Aug. 12, 2022. Email them to greg.d.apke@odfw.oregon.gov or mail to Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program leader, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr SE, Salem, OR 97303

The project proposes to construct a small earthen dam and an associated culvert with flashboards risers in the seasonal stream that is presently impounded by an earthen dam. This action requires a water right administered by Oregon Water Resources Department through the Alternate Reservoir process.

The action has triggered the state’s fish passage requirements. According to Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program coordinator, ODFW may grant fish passage exemptions if there are no benefits to native migratory fish from providing passage.

Because of the site conditions, downstream passage barriers and no native migratory fish in the project area, ODFW has made an initial determination that if fish passage was provided the action would result in no net benefit to native migratory fish. If in the future, conditions change from which a decision is made, fish passage exemptions can be revoked and fish passage shall be addressed.

Therefore, unless public comment is provided that would affect the Department’s determination, the exemption request may be approved

The fish passage exemption application and the Department’s benefit analyses are available at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/passage/.