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Biological opinion: Morse Brothers Habitat Restoration Project Public Deposited

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  • Morse Brothers Habitat Restoration Project : biological opinion
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  • On October 16, 2000, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) received a request from Portland District Army Corps of Engineers (COE) for Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 7 consultation for issuance of a Corps permit to Morse Brothers (Corps No. 2000-00844) for a habitat restoration project that will connect an abandoned gravel mining pit and pond with the Willamette River near Harrisburg, Linn County, Oregon. In the October 16, 2000 letter, the COE determined that the Upper Willamette River (UWR) chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) may occur within the project area and that this species may be affected by the proposed project. Because the proposed action would provide seasonal access to a floodplain pond and back water slough that may entrap, or take, the indicated listed fish, the COE determined that the proposed action may adversely affect these species and requested formal consultation. The NMFS was contacted by Jeff Steyaert, Morse Brothers, and Dr. Peter Bayley, Oregon State University who is conducting a research project related to the proposed activity. Mr. Steyaert and Dr. Bayley provided detailed information regarding the proposed action and the ongoing research. The baseline conditions for the Willamette River in the action area, the immediate location of the proposed action, have been generally described and understood from previous study and analysis. References to this work were noted in the documents provided. The objective of this Opinion is to determine whether the action to restore habitat by modifying the floodplain pond and constructing a channel to connect the pond with the Willamette River is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of UWR or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat.
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