Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program: An Overview
Stacks Image 5505
In July 2009, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho completed the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Project Master Plan. The Master Plan presents the framework for a large-scale ecosystem-based river habitat restoration program that will be implemented across the 55-mile reach of the Kootenai River that extends from the confluence of the Moyie and Kootenai to the international border. To see the project area, go to our reach-map page.

The Kootenai Tribe plans to implement the Program in three phases.
Phase 1 will begin with work in Braided Reach 1 and the existing spawning area in the Meander Reaches; Phase 2 will proceed generally downstream
through Braided Reach 1, Braided Reach 2, and the Straight Reach; Phase 3 will include work in Meander Reach 1 and Meander Reach 2 (you can view a map of Program area reaches here and locations of the Phases here). Construction of Phase 1 activities is targeted to begin in 2011 with all three Phases of the program completed within 10 to 15 years.

The Kootenai Tribe received funding for the development of the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Project Master Plan and for design of the Phase 1 projects from the
Bonneville Power Administration (Project 200200200) under the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program.

Program goals are to:
  • Restore habits by reducing the negative impacts caused by the altered landscape and hydrograph
  • Restore native vegetation by establishing more natural streambank and floodplain conditions
  • Restore aquatic habitats conditions so the river can once again support populations of native fish, including the endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon
  • Create opportunities for river and floodplain stewardship in the community
Program benefits include:
  • Restored populations of native fish
  • Reduced flood frequency and improved channel and floodplain interaction
  • Reduced land loss caused by erosion of banks and levees and reduced sediment in the river
  • Protected bridge piers and foundations
  • Compliance with the requirements of the Libby Dam Biological Opinion and with federal hydropower system operation criteria
  • Conditions more consistent with community values, including protection of private property, human health and safety considerations, recreational uses, and wildlife viewing
  • Economic benefits to the local community during construction
Stacks Image 5503
A Unique and Cutting Edge Program 
Hear what managers, scientists, and river restoration experts have to say about the Kootenai River Habitat Program:

Stacks Image 840

Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
P.O. Box 1269
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
Phone: 208-267-3519

Stacks Image 839