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Kootenai River Watershed

Overview photo of the Kootenai River ValleyThe Kootenai River Watershed is an international watershed encompassing approximately 18,000 square miles of British Columbia and Alberta Canada, 7,500 square miles in northwest Montana, and a small portion in northern Idaho. The Kootenai River originates in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park, flows 485 miles through steep canyon terrain and agricultural flat land in Montana and Idaho, and eventually returns to Canada and Kootenay Lake.

The Upper Kootenai drainage, upstream of Libby Dam and extending into British Columbia, is a focus area for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. The Kootenai National Forest owns 76% of the Upper Kootenai, Burlington Northern, and Plum Creek Timber Company own 14%, with the remaining 10% in private ownership. About 90% of the Upper Kootenai watershed consists of native coniferous forest, and 10% of the basin is agricultural land used primarily for pasture and forage production.

The Kootenai River and Lake Koocanusa contain important fluvial and adfluvial populations of native bull trout that migrate over the international border between Canada and Montana. The Upper Kootenai River is recognized as 1 of 12 restoration/conservation areas for bull trout in Montana requiring restoration planning efforts under the federal recovery program for the threatened bull trout.


For More Information, Contact:

Rox Rogers
Creston National Fish Hatchery
780 Creston Hatchery Road
Kallispell, MT  59901
(406) 758-6880
Rox_Rogers@fws.gov


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