Project Name

Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Project (UPDATED)

River, Stream and Wetland Restoration
Client / Agency
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Idaho Fish & Game, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
2008 to Present
Project Description
The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho is leading ecosystem restoration efforts in the Idaho portion of the Kootenai Subbasin, including development of programs to address the decline of Kootenai River white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), a federally listed endangered species. In 2008 as part of an interdisciplinary team, RDG assisted the Tribe with a Master Plan to restore ecosystem function and aquatic habitat for 55 miles of the Kootenai River near Bonners Ferry, Idaho. In cooperation with multiple agencies and other consultants, RDG provided technical support for the development of quantifiable objectives and a comprehensive list of limiting habitat factors that was used to establish a suite of restoration treatments. Presently, the design team is tasked with preparing designs for multiple restoration projects, including bank restoration, pool enhancement, side channel restoration and floodplain/wetland development. As project engineers, RDG’s responsibilities include concept development, refinement of biological design criteria, geomorphic assessments, hydraulic analysis of proposed projects, sediment transport evaluations and preparation of design drawings and specifications.

Related Content

  • Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Project Website
    Welcome to the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program The Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program is large-scale ecosystem-based river habitat restoration effort that will be implemented over a period of 10 to 15 years across a 55-mile reach of the Kootenai River in north Idaho. Kootenai Tribal elders have passed down the history of the beginning of time. That history tells that the Kootenai people were created by Quilxka Nupika, the supreme being, and placed on earth to keep the Creator Spirit’s Covenant—to guard and keep the land forever. The Kootenais have never lost sight of their original purpose as guardians of the land. Today, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho seeks to fulfill this purpose by developing and implementing innovative, scientific approaches to guardianship of the land that consider the whole ecosystem at the watershed/subbasin scale, are socially and economically responsible, are supported by the local community and other partners within the watershed, and that incorporate adaptive management principles [ View ]
  • Higher flows from Libby aimed to help sturgeon
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to initiate flow augmentation from Libby Dam for the next week to benefit endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon. [ View ]
  • Flows From Montana’s Libby Dam Boosted To Lure Kootenai White Sturgeon Spawners Upstream
    Flows through northwest Montana’s Libby Dam were ramping up today (Friday) to create higher flows that might tempt endangered white sturgeon to move up the Kootenai River past Bonners Ferry, Idaho, to spawning habitat that they have long ignored. [ View ]
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Project Images

Vicinity map of the 55-mile project area
Cottonwood recruitment on the banks of a side channel restoration project aimed at reducing reed canarygrass.
Incipient motion analysis using 2D hydraulic model output to demonstrate changes in sediment transport characteristics.
Pool-forming large wood structures.
Pool-forming large wood structures.
Instrumentation for real-time scour monitoring.
Side channel restoration.
Reconstructed Kootenai River side channel following project construction.
Instrumentaltion for real-time scour monitoring.
The reconstructed side channel during high water event.
Analysis of sturgeon spawning conditions.
The reconstructed side channel following the high water event.
Kootenai River side channel reconstruction included narrowing the channel using fill, brush, large wood, and sod.
Engineered large wood structures built on the Kootenai River are designed to narrow the channel width and promote channel bed scour for habitat enhancement.
Engineered large wood structure installation on the Kootenai River.
Air photo view of enhanced side channels to the Kootenai River.
2-dimensional hydraulic modeling output illustrating velocity vectors for an existing condition Kootenai River project area.
2-dimensional hydraulic modeling output illustrating velocity vectors for existing and proposed channel conditions, and velocity changes associated with restoration actions in the Kootenai River Upper Meander Project Area.
Habitat analysis using 2D hydraulic model output to demonstrate potential increase in juvenile rearing habitat.
Vicinity map of the 55-mile project area
Vicinity map of the 55-mile project area.