Monday, August 24, 2015

Another Fish Passage Exemption request...

Comments should be made on this one - why would one not make this a passage friendly bridge - who knows what may happen with a dam down the road; why not require passage on BOTH?! Certainly better to set the precedent now than to retroactively argue it later....

ODFW seeks comment on fish passage exemption for proposed bridge project near Selma
August 21, 2015

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a request to exempt from fish passage requirements a proposed bridge replacement on McMullin Creek, a tributary to Deer Creek in the Illinois River Basin located near Selma, Oregon. Comments are due by Sept. 11, 2015.

The existing bridge located on Lakeshore Dr. and owned by Josephine County, crosses McMullin Creek immediately downstream of the Lake Selmac Dam. The county has proposed replacing the existing bridge with a new bridge, triggering ODFW fish passage requirements.

According to Ken Loffink, ODFW assistant fish passage coordinator, ODFW may grant the exemption if there is no appreciable benefit to fish from providing passage. Currently, coho, steelhead, and cutthroat trout are found in McMullin Creek downstream of the Lakeshore Dr. Bridge. However, the Lake Selmac Dam is located approximately 100 feet upstream of the bridge, and the dam spillway extends downstream to and beneath the bridge. The dam and spillway is a complete barrier to all native migratory fish.

Because there is a complete barrier immediately upstream, Loffink said ODFW has determined that even if fish passage was provided at the proposed new bridge, the action would not result in any appreciable benefit to native migratory fish.

Therefore, unless the agency receives public comment that would affect its determination, the exemption request will be approved. If, in the future, a trigger occurs at the Lake Selmac Dam, passage would be required at Lake Selmac and the exemption at Lakeshore Dr. would likely be revoked. Fish passage exemptions can be revoked and fish passage required if an appreciable benefit to native migratory fish develops in the future.

In the meantime, members of the public will have until Sept. 11, 2015 to submit written comments on the proposed plan. The fish passage exemption application and the Department’s benefit analysis are available at

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Ken Loffink, ODFW Assistant Fish Passage Program Coordinator, 3406 NE Cherry Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97303, e-mail,, or by calling (503) 947-6256