FY 2001 Ongoing proposal 198806500

Additional documents


Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleKootenai River Fisheries Recovery Investigations
Proposal ID198806500
OrganizationIdaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
NameVaughn L. Paragamian
Mailing addressIDFG, 2750 Kathleen Ave. Coeur d' Alene, ID 83815
Phone / email2087691414 / Vparagam@idfg.state.id.us
Manager authorizing this project
Review cycleFY 2001 Ongoing
Province / SubbasinMountain Columbia / Kootenai
Short descriptionImplement recovery and restoration efforts for Kootenai River white sturgeon, burbot, bull and rainbow trout, and whitefish stocks in the Kootenai River and effects of water fluctuations and ecosystem changes on these stocks.
Target species
Project location
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)



Relevant RPAs based on NMFS/BPA review:

Reviewing agencyAction #BiOp AgencyDescription

Section 2. Past accomplishments

1992 White sturgeon spawning in gravel cobble substrate found to be very minimal, main body of adult spawners are found much further downstream.
1993 Sturgeon abandon spawning reach when flows are dropped by the USACE.
1993 Burbot are found in Idaho reach of Kootenai River, previously though to be extirpated.
1994 Burbot densities are higher in the BC reach of the Kootenai River than Idaho but telemetry indicates they are transboundary.
1994 Trophic structure of Kootenai River now comprised primarily of omnivores, previous studies in 70's indicated there was a nearly equal representation of insectivores and omnivores.
1994 White sturgeon are found spawning in slow velocity water over sand substrate further downstream (rkm 228) than anticipated.
1994 Abundance of rainbow trout in tributaries of the Kootenai River are similar to those of the late 70's but trout numbers in the river are lower.
1994 Burbot in Idaho are concentrated at Ambush Rock, rkm 244.5, and are concentrated in the thalweg.
1995 Creel survey indicates rainbow trout are the most sought after fish in the Kootenai River but whitefish are most important in the harvest.
1995 The only know spawning location of burbot in the Kootenai River system below Kootenai Falls is found to be in the Goat River, a tributary in BC.
1995 Hypothesis developed inferring river flow impairs burbot spawning migrations and fitness.
1995 Population estimate of sturgeon indicates about 1,555 adult white sturgeon but juveniles are estimated at 87.
1996 Growth and condition of Kootenai River white sturgeon is lower than for the mean of other white sturgeon in the Columbia Basin.
1996 Kootenai River white sturgeon are spawning over sand substrate in low velocity water and in habitat thought to be unusual for white sturgeon.
1997 The capture of several juvenile sturgeon from flow test years and a larval sturgeon are the first measure of success recorded for mitigated flows for sturgeon spawning.
1997 Burbot in Kootenai River and Kootenay Lake genetically distinct from burbot above Kootenai Falls in Montana.
1997 Substantial evidence to indicate many burbot are reproductively disfunctional.
1998 Burbot spawning migrations are impaired by high flows during winter.
1998 Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling indicated velocities in the white sturgeon spawning reach are about 0.80 m/s and slightly faster than a location in which sturgeon were expected to spawn.
1998 Acoustic subbottom profiling indicated white sturgeon are spawning over sand substrate which is a minimum of 4 m in depth and there does not appear to be any possibility that gravel and cobble was present prior to Libby Dam.
1998 Rainbow trout appear to be a intergrade of coastal rainbow and other strains.
1998 Kootenai River white sturgeon spawning migration can be predicted with a logistic model.
1998 Deep Creek is the primary location of spawning in the Kootenai drainage in Idaho, west side tributaries provide few recruits.
1998 Burbot can travel up to 4.2 km/day under flow conditions of 170 cubic m/s.
1998 Rainbow trout spawners in Deep Creek (major tributary to Kootenai River) are adfluvial stock and juveniles seed lower river and Kootenai Lake.
1999 Most bull trout appear to be spawning in tributaries in Montana.
1999 Analysis of mtDNA of burbot from Duncan Lake indicates they are similar to Kootenai River stock.
1999 Analysis of Queens Bay elevations suggests white sturgeon spawning location is governed by the elevation of Kootenay Lake.
1999 Estimates of recruits to Kootenai River and Kootenay Lake from the Deep Creek tributaries is about 45,000 to 55,000/year.
1999 Most rainbow trout above Bonners Ferry appear to be spawning in tributaries in Montana.
2000 The capture of eight unspawned burbot beyond the spawning season in Idaho (in addition to five females resorbing eggs and several unspent males) adds further evidence to the hypothesis the burbot population is reproductively disfunctional.
2000 Telemetry suggests Duncan Lake burbot have a similar adfluvial spawning history as Kootenai River burbot.

Section 3. Relationships to other projects

Project IDTitleDescription

Section 4. Budget for Planning and Design phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Planning and Design phase

Section 5. Budget for Construction and Implementation phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Construction and Implementation phase

Section 6. Budget for Operations and Maintenance phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Operations and Maintenance phase

Section 7. Budget for Monitoring and Evaluation phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
Objective 1. Evaluate the response of adult white sturgeon to mitigated flow and temperature condition and determine the magnitude and timing necessary to provide successful spawning and rearing habitat in the Kootenai River. a.Sample 50 adult white sturgeon. b.Calculate condition of adults & juv. c.Monitor movement and behavior. d.Measure and quantify physical river data. e.Measure egg dep., larval, and juv fish. f.Determine location of spawning. g.Monitor Surv of Hat fry. 18 $368,036
h.Calculate growth of adults, hatchery and wild juveniles. 18 $6,000 Yes
i.Test various gear to develop systematic sampling scheme for juv. sturgeon. j.Quantify abundance of juvenile sturgeon- hatchery and wild. k.Quantify habitat for early rearing life stages of sturgeon. 18 $0
l.Kootenay Lake white sturgeon larval sampling, juvenile sampling, and adult and juvenile telemetry. 18 $20,000 Yes
Objective 2: Determine the effects of high winter flows on burbot migration rate (km/d) and spawning in Idaho, test null hypothesis flows do not affect burbot travel rate or distance, and null hypothesis high flows do not impair reproductive fitness. a.Capture burbot in Kootenai R. and measure and weigh. b.Attach transmitters to a minimum of 12 and monitor behavior. c.Monitor behavior and migration of burbot during a five week 6,000 cfs period. d.Chi-sq. stat. to study control and test differences. 12 $69,690
e.Collect blood samples from KR burbot and measure testosterone, estradiol, serum chloride. f.Collect blood samples from control burbot (Columbia L.) and measure testosterone, estradiol, serum chloride. 3 $10,000 Yes
g.Biopsy post-spawn burbot to determine the %spawners and evidence of disfunctional reproduction. 12 $0
h.Deploy continuous recording thermographs in potential spawning tributaries. i.Deploy hoopnets in Smith and Boundary creeks to monitor adult spawning. 12 $0
j.Sample burbot in Koot. and Duncan L. and collect genetic samples and compare behavior similarities to burbot in Idaho. 12 $20,000 Yes
k.Mitochondrial DNA analysis of burbot in Duncan Lake for comparison to Kootenai River. 2 $8,000 Yes
Objective 3:Estimate the number of burbot in the Kootenai River from the South Arm of Kootenay Lake to Bonners Ferry. a.Enter all burbot captured and recaptured from 1993-2001 into a Seber-Jolly computer model to determine number, survival, and recruitment. 1 $4,000 Yes
Objective 4: Identify methods to effectively sample larval burbot. a.Sample larval burbot with various gear. b.Preserve samples and note length, location, and temperature. 12 $12,948
Objective 5: Conduct a sportfishery survey on the Kootenai River from Deep Creek to the Montana Border to determine catch and harvest rates and as part of the Large Scale sampling to compare to changes after recovery of productivity (fertilization). a.Interview anglers. b.Measure and weigh fish. c.Conduct instantaneous angler counts. d.Note fin-clips and collect tags from trout. e.Estimate harvest and catch rates. . 1 $32,371
Objective 6: Determine source of rainbow trout recruitment in the Idaho reach of the Kootenai River. a.Trap outmigrating rainbow trout in Boulder Creek. b.Collect 20 rainbow trout in the Kootenai River and implant radio transmitters. c.Use aerial telemetry to monitor movement of rainbow spawners. d.Reward tag rainbow. e.Do mark and recapture of ra 3 $41,345
Objective 7: Determine source of bull trout recruitment in the Idaho reach of the Kootenai River downstream of Bonners Ferry. a.Collect 10 bull trout in the Kootenai River below Bonners Ferry and implant radio transmitters. b.Use aerial telemetry to monitor movement of bull trout spawners below Bonners Ferry. . 3 $9,711
Objective 8: Test the use of spawning cribs for rainbow trout to determine the potential for the construction of spawning channels to improve recruitment in the Kootenai River. a.Do a literature search. b.Evaluate which tributaries in Idaho would be best prospects to test spawning cribs for rainbow trout. c.Evaluate which locations in the Kootenai River would be best prospects to test spawning cribs for rainbow trout 5 $35,608
d.Devise an experimental design to test location (depth, current, etc.), river or tributary, survival, and recruitment. e.Monitor and evaluate spawning activity and recruitment or survival of eggs and fry. 5 $0
Objective 9: Large scale sampling to determine the (pre-fertilization) status of the fish community trophic structure, densities, standing stocks, and the growth and cond of salmonids. a.Sample fish populations with electrofishing gear at two reaches of the Kootenai River. b.Identify, measure, weigh, and fin clip all fish, and collect scales from all salmonids. c.Estimate trophic structure of the fish community (based on food habits). 1 $9,711
d.Age all salmonid scales and back calculate growth. e.Calculate relative weights and condition for all salmonids. f.Calculate population estimates of all fish species and estimate standing stocks and densities/km and /ha. 1 $0
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Monitoring and Evaluation phase
FY 2005FY 2003FY 2004FY 2002

Section 8. Estimated budget summary

Itemized budget
ItemNoteFY 2001 cost
Personnel FTE: 8.8 (4 - Permanent, 4.8 Temp.) $221,300
Fringe 35% for Perm. and 30% for Temp. $75,000
Supplies Sampling supplies, nets, hardware vehicle rent, fuel, repairs, hip boots, rain gear, etc. $75,130
Travel Per diem for local travel, workshops, inhouse training, AFS meetings $15,300
Indirect About 28% $161,690
Capital 2 Computers 1 Boat, motor, and trailer 1 Back-pack electroshocker $35,000
Subcontractor University of Wisconsin - burbot blood sample analysis. $10,000
Subcontractor University of Idaho - burbot population estimate, mtDNA analysis, and fin ray analysis. $14,000
Subcontractor Canadian studies of burbot and sturgeon in Kootenai R. and Duncan Lake. $40,000
Total estimated budget
Total FY 2001 cost$647,420
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA funds$0
Total FY 2001 budget request$647,420
FY 2001 forecast from 2000$647,425
% change from forecast0.0%
Reason for change in scope

Analysis of the results of Adaptive Ecosystem Assessment modeling and reviews of previous river fertilization studies indicates fertilizing the Kootenai River may provide benefits to a variety of fisheries particularly rainbow trout and mountain whitefish. It will be important to establish baseline information on the status of the post-Libby Dam fish community and growth and condition of salmonids in order to make a final determination during the actual fertilization studies if an improvement in the densities and conditions of important fish has occurred and if sport fishery harvest has improved (post-fertilization. Early results of behavior and mtDNA study of burbot from Duncan L. indicates they are similar to burbot in the Kootenai River. If the Duncan Lake burbot are to be used in the recovery of burbot in the Kootenai River, after flows are reduced to a level suitable for spawning migration, then a larger sample size will be required to confirm the early results.

Cost sharing
OrganizationItem or service providedAmountCash or in-kind

Reviews and recommendations

This information was not provided on the original proposals, but was generated during the review process.

Jul 14, 2000


Sep 13, 2000


Rationale: Budget increase inappropriate in this review. Budget increase will depend on provincial review
NW Power and Conservation Council's FY 2006 Project Funding Review
Funding category:
May 2005
FY05 NPCC start of year:FY06 NPCC staff preliminary:FY06 NPCC July draft start of year:
$951,697 $951,697 $951,697

Sponsor comments: See comment at Council's website