Coeur d'Alene Tribe Fisheries Program : Implementation of Fisheries Enhancement Opportunities on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation : 2007 Annual Report.

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Historically, the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe depended on runs of anadromous salmon and steelhead along the Spokane River and Hangman Creek, as well as resident and adfluvial forms of trout and char in Coeur d'Alene Lake, for survival. Dams constructed in the early 1900s on the Spokane River in the City of Spokane and at Little Falls (further downstream) were the first dams that initially cut-off the anadromous fish runs from the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. These fisheries were further removed following the construction of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams on the Columbia River. Together, these actions forced the Tribe ... continued below

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87 pages

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Firehammer, Jon A.; Vitale, Angelo J. & Hallock, Stephanie A. September 8, 2009.

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Historically, the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe depended on runs of anadromous salmon and steelhead along the Spokane River and Hangman Creek, as well as resident and adfluvial forms of trout and char in Coeur d'Alene Lake, for survival. Dams constructed in the early 1900s on the Spokane River in the City of Spokane and at Little Falls (further downstream) were the first dams that initially cut-off the anadromous fish runs from the Coeur d'Alene Tribe. These fisheries were further removed following the construction of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams on the Columbia River. Together, these actions forced the Tribe to rely solely on the resident fish resources of Coeur d'Alene Lake for their subsistence needs. The Coeur d'Alene Tribe is estimated to have historically harvested around 42,000 westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) per year (Scholz et al. 1985). In 1967, Mallet (1969) reported that 3,329 cutthroat trout were harvested from the St. Joe River, and a catch of 887 was reported from Coeur d'Alene Lake. This catch is far less than the 42,000 fish per year the tribe harvested historically. Today, only limited opportunities exist to harvest cutthroat trout in the Coeur d'Alene Basin. It appears that a suite of factors have contributed to the decline of cutthroat trout stocks within Coeur d'Alene Lake and its tributaries (Mallet 1969; Scholz et al. 1985; Lillengreen et al. 1993). These factors included the construction of Post Falls Dam in 1906, major changes in land cover types, impacts from agricultural activities, and introduction of exotic fish species. The decline in native cutthroat trout populations in the Coeur d'Alene basin has been a primary focus of study by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's Fisheries and Water Resources programs since 1990. The overarching goals for recovery have been to restore the cutthroat trout populations to levels that allow for subsistence harvest, maintain genetic diversity, and increase the probability of persistence in the face of anthropogenic influences and prospective climate change. This included recovering the lacustrine-adfluvial life history form that was historically prevalent and had served to provide both resilience and resistance to the structure of cutthroat trout populations in the Coeur d'Alene basin. To this end, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe closed Lake Creek and Benewah Creek to fishing in 1993 to initiate recovery of westslope cutthroat trout to historical levels. However, achieving sustainable cutthroat trout populations also required addressing biotic factors and habitat features in the basin that were limiting recovery. Early in the 1990s, BPA-funded surveys and inventories identified limiting factors in Tribal watersheds that would need to be remedied to restore westslope cutthroat trout populations. The limiting factors included: low-quality, low-complexity mainstem stream habitat and riparian zones; high stream temperatures in mainstem habitats; negative interactions with nonnative brook trout in tributaries; and potential survival bottlenecks in Coeur d'Alene Lake. In 1994, the Northwest Power Planning Council adopted the recommendations set forth by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe to improve the Reservation fishery (NWPPC Program Measures 10.8B.20). These recommended actions included: (1) Implement habitat restoration and enhancement measures in Alder, Benewah, Evans, and Lake Creeks; (2) Purchase critical watershed areas for protection of fisheries habitat; (3) Conduct an educational/outreach program for the general public within the Coeur d'Alene Reservation to facilitate a 'holistic' watershed protection process; (4) Develop an interim fishery for tribal and non-tribal members of the reservation through construction, operation and maintenance of five trout ponds; (5) Design, construct, operate and maintain a trout production facility; and (6) Implement a monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of the hatchery and habitat improvement projects. These activities provide partial mitigation for the extirpation of anadromous fish resources from usual and accustomed harvest areas and Reservation lands. Since that time, much of the mitigation activities occurring within the Coeur d'Alene sub-basin have had a connection to the BPA project entitled 'Implement of Fisheries Enhancement Opportunities on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation' (1990-044-00), which is sponsored and implemented by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe Fisheries Program.

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87 pages

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  • Related Information: document dated September 2009

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  • Report No.: P113336
  • Grant Number: 00037842
  • DOI: 10.2172/966364 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 966364
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928010

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  • September 8, 2009

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Firehammer, Jon A.; Vitale, Angelo J. & Hallock, Stephanie A. Coeur d'Alene Tribe Fisheries Program : Implementation of Fisheries Enhancement Opportunities on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation : 2007 Annual Report., report, September 8, 2009; Portland, Oregon. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928010/: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.