While in town for its annual public meeting on Oct. 5 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, the IJC’s International Kootenay Lake Board of Control was treated to a tour by the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho Fisheries Program. Here’s some of what they saw.
Board members are greeted by Shawn Young, Aquaculture Program manager for the fisheries program, at its white sturgeon and burbot hatchery.
Young speaks about burbot spawning behaviors in the wild.
Young speaks about the tribe’s sturgeon hatchery in the main tank room.
Young describes the rearing tank for young sturgeon. The upside-down ones aren’t dead, just feeding from the surface by flipping over.
The tour arrives at a habitat restoration area at Nimz Ranch, where the tribe is undertaking a restoration program for flood plain zones along the Kootenai River (behind breached levees). Note the heavy smoke from individual fires burning since lightning strikes in June. The river is known as the Kootenay in Canada and the Kootenai in the United States.
Shannon Ehlers, the tribe’s Kootenai River habitat restoration program supervisor, leads the board through one of the tribe’s restoration areas. Note the soil contouring, which helps with cottonwood seed capture.
Ehlers (at right) and David Hutchinson, the board’s Canadian co-chair, stand near a pond at the low point of one of the restoration areas.
Cottonwood seedlings (at center) and other plants growing in the restoration area.
Ehlers speaks at a main pond feature at the Nimz Ranch’s wildlife mitigation and habitat restoration project area.
The Kootenai River at Bonner’s Ferry from the public meeting location, Best Western Plus Kootenai River Inn.
Young white sturgeon in a rearing tank at the hatchery.
Members of the tour group included IJC staff and Kootenay board members.
For more information on the board, see ijc.org/en/klbc
For more information on the tribe, see ucut.org/members-tribes/kootenai-tribe-idaho/ and restoringthekootenai.org/OtherFWProjects/overview/.