The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife seeks public comment on a proposal to exempt from fish passage requirements a section of stream channel that will be re-constructed by the Oregon Department of Transportation on Middle Fork Pringle Creek in Marion County.

ODOT proposes to re-align a section of Middle Fork Pringle Creek during a planned southbound ramp improvement project at the Kuebler interchange on Interstate 5 in Salem, Oregon. A section of the new stream alignment will be constructed at 8.8 percent gradient due to geotechnical and right of way constraints. This stream gradient exceeds fish passage design criteria. The proposed action has triggered Oregon’s fish passage laws.

According to Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program coordinator, ODFW may grant an exemption if there is no appreciable benefit to fish from providing passage.

“ODFW staff is recommending granting the exemption,” Apke said. He said ODFW staff has concluded that requiring passage would not benefit fish because of existing artificial obstructions and the degraded habitat in Pringle Creek. However, the agency continues to solicit public comments that it can consider before making the final decision, he added.

Members of the public will have until January 7, 2013 to submit written comments on the proposed plan. Details on the ODOT fish passage exemption request and the ODFW net benefit analysis can be found on the ODFW fish passage website @ ODFW Fish Passage Requirements.

Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program Coordinator, 3406 NE Cherry Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97303, e-mail, Greg.D.Apke@state.or.us, or by calling (503) 947-6228.

Logo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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