Implementation of Fisheries Enhancement Opportunities on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation; Coeur d'Alene Tribe Fish, Water, and Wildlife Program, REVISED 2002 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 by 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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111 pages

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Vitale, Angelo; Lamb, Dave & Scott, Jason April 1, 2004.

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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 by 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 (Staff Communication). The Coeur d'Alene Tribe is estimated to have historically harvested around 42,000 westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) per year (Scholz et al. 1985). In 1967, Mallet (1969) reported that 3,329 cutthroat 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. The declines in native salmonid fish populations, particularly cutthroat and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), in the Coeur d'Alene basin have been the focus of study by the Coeur d' Alene Tribe's Fisheries and Water Resources programs since 1990. It appears that there are a number of factors contributing to the decline of resident salmonid stocks within Coeur d'Alene Lake and its tributaries (Ellis 1932; Oien 1957; Mallet 1969; Scholz et. al. 1985, Lillengreen et. al. 1993). These factors include: construction of Post Falls Dam in 1906; major changes in land cover types, agricultural activities and introduction of exotic fish species. Over 100 years of mining activities in the Coeur d'Alene River drainage have had devastating effects on the quality of the water in the Coeur d'Alene River and Coeur d'Alene Lake. Effluents from tailings and mining waste have contributed vast quantities of trace heavy metals to the system. Poor agricultural and forest practices have also contributed to the degradation of water quality and habitat suitability for resident salmonids. Increased sediment loads from agricultural runoff and recent and recovering clearcuts, and increases in water temperature due to riparian canopy removal may be two of the most important problems currently affecting westslope cutthroat trout. Increases in water temperature have reduced the range of resident salmonids to a fraction of its historic extent. Within this new range, sediment has reduced the quality of both spawning and rearing habitats. Historically, municipal waste contributed large quantities of phosphates and nitrogen that accelerated the eutrophication process in Coeur d'Alene Lake. However, over the last 25 years work has been completed to reduce the annual load of these materials. Wastewater treatment facilities have been established near all major municipalities in and around the basin. Species interactions with introduced exotics as well as native species are also acting to limit cutthroat trout populations. Two mechanisms are at work: interspecific competition, and species replacement. Competition occurs when two species utilize common resources, the supply of which is short; or if the resources are not in short supply, they harm each other in the process of seeking these resources. Replacement occurs when some environmental or anthropogenic change (e.g., habitat degradation, fishing pressure, etc.) causes the decline or elimination of one species and another species, either native or introduced, fills the void left by the other. In 1994, the Northwest Power Planning Council adopted the recommendations set forth by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe to improve the Reservation fishery. 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 five-year monitoring program to evaluate the effectiveness of the hatchery and habitat improvement projects. Since that time, much of the mitigation activities occurring within the Coeur d'Alene sub-basin have had a connection to the project entitled 'Implement of Fisheries Enhancement Opportunities on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation', which is sponsored and implemented by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe Fisheries Program and is the subject of this report.

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111 pages

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  • Report No.: DOE/BP-00010885-2
  • Grant Number: 10885
  • DOI: 10.2172/962678 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 962678
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928194

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  • April 1, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 2:25 p.m.

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Vitale, Angelo; Lamb, Dave & Scott, Jason. Implementation of Fisheries Enhancement Opportunities on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation; Coeur d'Alene Tribe Fish, Water, and Wildlife Program, REVISED 2002 Annual Report., report, April 1, 2004; Portland, Oregon. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928194/: accessed November 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.