Review of Proposal: Lake Pend Oreille Fishery Recovery Project

read full document >

A series of multi-agency and interest group meetings in early 1994 led to the proposal of a work plan submitted to the NPPC, and amended in August 1996, to conduct an adaptive management study at Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, in which winter lake levels would be experimentally held higher (2, 055-2,056 ft) for three years starting in late 1996, followed by at least two years of deeper drawdowns. The work plan called for a joint study by IDFG and the University of Idaho (U of I) of various aspects of the Lake Pend Oreille ecosystem, most of which were related directly to kokanee population recovery (Maiolie and Bennett 1996). Efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the study plan has been questioned by several organizations. The Corps of Engineers and the utilities believe that the experiment would result in an annual power revenue losses averaging $10 million. The tribes have expressed concerns over the potential impacts of the altered water storage regime on anadromous salmonids downstream from Albeni Falls Dam. Different groups have offered different explanations for the kokanee decline, claiming that the IDFG/U of I drawdown proposal rests on several key assumptions that have not been rigorously examined. In contrast, the Sand Point Chamber of Commerce, which strongly supports the proposal, has completed an economic evaluation of the consequences of maintaining a higher winter pool and has concluded that the higher level would yield a net economic benefit to Bonner County of about $30 million, most of which comes from increased shoreline property values that would spur additional real estate development around the lake (Appendix A, Maiolie and Bennett 1996).Through a series of queries, the Council was asked to review the study proposal and has referred the issue to the ISAB. The Corps of Engineers decided to proceed with the 2,055-2,056 ft winter drawdown experiment in 1996-97. Although the project has begun, ISAB has been requested to complete it’s review of the study plan (Appendix 1) for scientific merit.

This website was archived in May 2018.

Go to this page on the new site or keep browsing the old site.

Contact Eric Schrepel with any questions or requests for our new (current) site, thank you.