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Essential Salmon Habitat
spawning salmon photo  
Spawning Salmon

Oregon's Removal-Fill Law requires a permit for most removal and fill activities in areas designated as "essential indigenous anadromous salmonid habitat."
(2015) Interactive ESH Map​

Essential salmonid habitat is defined as the habitat necessary to prevent the depletion of native salmon species (chum, sockeye, Chinook and Coho salmon, and steelhead and cutthroat trout) during their life history stages of spawning and rearing.
The designation applies only to those species that have been listed as "Sensitive, Threatened or Endangered" by a state or federal authority.
In addition to those activities that are exempt from all permit requirements, the following exemptions apply to activities affecting less than 50 cubic yards within areas designated essential salmonid habitat:
  • Activities customarily associated with agriculture (e.g., maintenance of an existing irrigation or drainage structure) involving less than 50 cubic yards.
  • Non-motorized mineral prospecting affecting less than one cubic yard at any one site and not more than five cubic yards annually within a designated stream.
  • Construction and maintenance of fish passage and fish screening structures less than 50 cubic yards.
DSL in consultation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), designates essential salmonid habitat areas based on field surveys and/or concurrence of professional opinion, consistent with the Oregon Fish Habitat Distribution Data Standard . Designations are periodically reviewed and updated.
Essential Salmon Habitat Administrative Rule