ODFW seeks comment on two fish passage exemptions

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is seeking public comment on two requests to exempt from fish passage requirements at two independent locations, one on an unnamed tributary to W FK Coyote Creek in Lane County and the second on an unnamed tributary to Quedo Creek in Josephine County. Comments are due by May 12, 2017.

Tim Payne is certifying a water right through the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) for a privately owned existing dam in an unnamed tributary W FK Coyote Creek, a tributary to Fern Ridge Reservoir in the Long Tom River Basin. David Shotwell is also certifying a water right through the OWRD for a new proposal to build a privately owned dam in an unnamed tributary to Quedo Creek, a tributary to Lake Selmac in the Illinois River Basin. These two actions have triggered Oregon’s fish passage laws.

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 specific habitat conditions and other complete artificial obstructions below the two project locations, ODFW has made initial determinations that even if fish passage was provided, the actions would still result in no net benefit to native migratory fish. If in the future, conditions change from which the decisions were made, 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 requests will be approved.

In the meantime, members of the public will have until May 12, 2017 to submit written comments on the proposed plans. Both fish passage exemption applications and the Department’s benefit analyses are available online.

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