Kootenay Board Tours Kootenai Fisheries in Idaho

IJC staff

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.

greeted by shawn young

Board members are greeted by Shawn Young, Aquaculture Program manager for the fisheries program, at its white sturgeon and burbot hatchery.

young speaks burbot

Young speaks about burbot spawning behaviors in the wild.

sturgeon hatchery main tank room

Young speaks about the tribe’s sturgeon hatchery in the main tank room.

rearing tank sturgeon

Young describes the rearing tank for young sturgeon. The upside-down ones aren’t dead, just feeding from the surface by flipping over.

habitat restoration area nimz ranch

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 kootenai

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 hutchinson

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

Cottonwood seedlings (at center) and other plants growing in the restoration area.

ehlers main pond

Ehlers speaks at a main pond feature at the Nimz Ranch’s wildlife mitigation and habitat restoration project area.

Kootenai River at Bonner’s Ferry
Kootenai River at Bonner’s Ferry

The Kootenai River at Bonner’s Ferry from the public meeting location, Best Western Plus Kootenai River Inn.

young white sturgeon

Young white sturgeon in a rearing tank at the hatchery.

kootenay tour group

Members of the tour group included IJC staff and Kootenay board members.

For more information on the board, see

For more information on the tribe, see and

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IJC staff