Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 81853: 1988-065-00 EXP IDFG KOOTENAI RIVER INVESTIGATIONS
Project Number:
Title:
Kootenai River Fishery Investigations
Stage:
Implementation
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Mountain Columbia Kootenai 100.00%
Contract Number:
81853
Contract Title:
1988-065-00 EXP IDFG KOOTENAI RIVER INVESTIGATIONS
Contract Continuation:
Previous: Next:
78985: 1988-065-00 EXP IDFG KOOTENAI RIVER INVESTIGATIONS
  • 85015: 1988-065-00 EXP IDFG KOOTENAI RIVER INVESTIGATIONS
Contract Status:
Closed
Contract Description:
The Kootenai River Resident Fish Mitigation project is comprised of several studies specifically focused on the recovery of White Sturgeon (ESA listed), Burbot, and native salmonid fish populations in the Kootenai River. Over the past three decades, the Kootenai River has experienced many physiochemical changes, and as a result, native fish species have dramatically declined. Construction and operation of Libby Dam in 1972 changed the river ecosystem, particularly by altering the discharge, water temperature, and nutrient level in the downstream portions of the Kootenai River. The overall goal of this program is to restore these native fish populations in the Kootenai River. This programs research is designed to identify strategies that will aid in reaching recovery goals that have been set for focal species.

Kootenai River White Sturgeon - Kootenai River White Sturgeon research is designed to integrate the Reasonable and Prudent Measures identified in the USFWS Biological Opinions to recover this species. Our sturgeon studies have provided information on spawning location, timing, and population vital statistics. This information has allowed mitigation strategies to be developed and has provided biological information that has been used to change dam operations to benefit sturgeon. Kootenai River White Sturgeon research is a cooperative effort involving with several federal agencies, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, the State of Montana, and British Columbia Ministry of Forest, Land, and Resource operations.

Kootenai River Burbot and Native Salmonids - Burbot in the Kootenai River basin historically provided exceptional commercial and recreational fisheries. However, shortly after the installation of Libby Dam, the population began to drastically decline, to the point of functional extinction. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (KTOI) have collaborated on various efforts to restore this once-robust population in the river. These efforts are composed of conservation aquaculture and extensive research, monitoring, and evaluation. Efforts are currently underway to refine our understanding of factors limiting natural recruitment, increase survival of hatchery stocked fish, and develop river flow and temperature recommendations that will promote the recovery of this population and ultimately support a harvest fishery once again.

Other fish species were also significantly affected by the installation and operation of Libby Dam. Shortly after the dams construction, the Kootenai River was considered ultra-oligotrophic due to nutrients being trapped behind the dam. To mitigate for reduced productivity, the KTOI and IDFG have been adding liquid phosphorus to the Kootenai River since 2005. Additions typically occur from June through September of each year. The primary objective of these efforts is to bolster primary productivity, with the ultimate goal of increasing native and sport fish species. Results, to-date, have been largely conclusive and positive, where the numbers of mountain whitefish and rainbow trout have increased since nutrients have been added. in number after additions; and largescale suckers have exhibited strong growth responses to additions.
Account Type(s):
Expense
Contract Start Date:
05/01/2019
Contract End Date:
04/30/2020
Current Contract Value:
$925,275
Expenditures:
$925,275

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Nov-2021.

BPA CO:
BPA COTR:
Env. Compliance Lead:
Work Order Task(s):
Contract Type:
Coop
Pricing Method:
Cost Reimbursement (CNF)
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Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Complete All Environmental Compliance Tasks B: 165. Complete All Environmental Compliance Tasks 04/30/2020 04/30/2020
Effective implementation management and timely contract administration C: 119. Manage and Administer Kootenai River Resident Fish Mitigation Project 04/30/2020 04/30/2020
Egg mat sampling D: 157. White sturgeon spawning evaluation 09/18/2019 09/18/2019
Larval sturgeon sampling E: 157. White sturgeon larval hatching sampling 08/31/2019 08/31/2019
Evaluation of wild and hatchery reared juvenile sturgeon F: 157. Juvenile white sturgeon recruitment and evaluation 11/01/2019 10/30/2019
Effects of Libby Dam operations on sturgeon movements G: 157. White sturgeon movement evaluation 11/01/2019 10/24/2019
Adult sturgeon sampling with setlines and angling H: 157. Adult White sturgeon sampling 11/15/2019 11/15/2019
Evaluation of habitat use, spawning, and larval production on KTOI habitat projects in the braided and straight reaches I: 157. Evaluate biological response to KTOI habitat enhancement projects 08/15/2019 08/15/2019
White Sturgeon, Burbot, Nutrient Enhancement and Trout Studies Annual Report J: 132. Complete Comprehensive Project Report for Sturgeon, Burbot ,& Nutrient 04/30/2020 04/30/2020
Estimate survival of early-life stages of Burbot K: 157. Evaluate Burbot early life history: field evaluations 04/30/2020 04/30/2020
Evaluate the juvenile and adult Burbot population in the Kootenai River and its tributaries. L: 157. Evaluate juvenile and adult Burbot population dynamics 04/30/2020 04/30/2020
Burbot and sturgeon sampling in BC coordinated and completed M: 189. Coordination of transboundary Burbot and sturgeon studies with BCME 04/30/2020 04/30/2020
Fish-related field work and data analysis for the Ecosystem Restoration Project N: 157. Ecosystem Restoration: Fish Population Monitoring 04/30/2020 04/30/2020
Analyses evaluating early-life history of rainbow trout in the Kootenai River O: 157. Rainbow Trout Recruitment and Early Life History 04/30/2020 04/30/2020

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics Customize

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Burbot (Lota lota)
  • 2 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Sturgeon, White (A. transmontanus) - Kootenai River DPS (Endangered)
  • 6 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Trout, Bull (S. confluentus) (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Trout, Rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
  • 2 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Trout, Interior Redband (O. mykiss gairdnerii)
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA 05/01/2019
B 165 Complete All Environmental Compliance Tasks 05/01/2019
C 119 Manage and Administer Kootenai River Resident Fish Mitigation Project 05/01/2019
D 157 White sturgeon spawning evaluation 11/07/2019
E 157 White sturgeon larval hatching sampling 11/07/2019
F 157 Juvenile white sturgeon recruitment and evaluation 11/07/2019
G 157 White sturgeon movement evaluation 11/07/2019
H 157 Adult White sturgeon sampling 11/07/2019
I 157 Evaluate biological response to KTOI habitat enhancement projects 11/07/2019
J 132 Complete Comprehensive Project Report for Sturgeon, Burbot ,& Nutrient 05/01/2019
K 157 Evaluate Burbot early life history: field evaluations 11/07/2019
L 157 Evaluate juvenile and adult Burbot population dynamics 11/07/2019
M 189 Coordination of transboundary Burbot and sturgeon studies with BCME 05/01/2019
N 157 Ecosystem Restoration: Fish Population Monitoring 11/07/2019
O 157 Rainbow Trout Recruitment and Early Life History 11/07/2019