Maps and Reports:
The Lake Koocanusa Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping project is currently underway. Data has been collected as part of the Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping process, and includes identification of adjacent land use, shore type, existing riparian condition, and anthropogenic alterations along the foreshore. Fish and wildlife habitat assessments were completed in Summer and Fall 2015, and included presence and absence observations and fish sampling using beach seine, gee trap and snorkel survey methods. Additional macro invertebrate data was collected from identified tributaries.
In 2016, scientific analysis will be completed to identify zones of sensitivity and key habitat features, and rank shoreline segments using the Aquatic Habitat Index. Significant opportunities exist to protect existing foreshore ecological values.
Lake Koocanusa is a reservoir formed by the completion of the Libby Dam in Montana in 1973. This transboundary reservoir extends 140km between Libby, Montana and Wardner, BC. It is the fourth dam constructed under the Columbia River Treaty. The dam is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and provides flood control and hydroelectric power for Montana, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, California, Utah, Oregon and Nevada. Since the dam was built, land use pressures around the reservoir have escalated including off-road vehicle use, informal camping, shoreline disturbance, and water quality concerns resulting from upstream mining activity.