This project strives to recover a productive, healthy and biologically diverse Kootenai River ecosystem, with emphasis
on native fish species rehabilitation. Specifically,it is designed to aid the recovery of important fish
stocks, i.e. white sturgeon, burbot, bull trout, kokanee and several other salmonids important to the
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and regional sport-fisheries.
Begun in 1994, this project was designed to identify limiting factors affecting the ecosystem and provide solutions which will restore complexity and function to the ecosystem. In 2000, an annual multi-trophic level and water quality biomonitoring program was initiated on the mainstem of the Kootenai River (B.C., MT, and ID) as well as key tributaries in order to determine ecosystem productivity, diversity, and complexity below and above Libby Dam, a major hydroelectric facility on the river. The Kootenai River biomonitoring and nutrient restoration components of this project are a cooperative effort between the Idaho Fish and Game Department and the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho.
BPA Reconnect Project
The Kootenai River historically had ecological connections with its floodplain. Since European settlement, however, approximately 23,000 acres of wetlands and many off channel and low velocity rearing habitats have been eliminated. These floodplain habitats serve as an engine for watershed productivity and are a keystone element of the ecosystem. The goals of the project are to investigate and implement actions to reconnect the Kootenai River with its historic floodplain. Project objectives are based on ecosystem restoration principles consistent with the Kootenai Subbasin Plan, Biological opinion, and White Sturgeon recovery plan. This project restores natural ecosystem processes in the Kootenai River Basin by creating physical habitat for native aquatic, terrestrial wildlife and the botanical communities within the Kootenai Tribe’s aboriginal territories.