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Fisheries

Spokane River Fisheries

In accordance with the Spokane River Project License, Avista cooperates with a variety of agencies to design and conduct a wide range of fisheries programs in the Coeur d’Alene Lake basin and on the Spokane River. The Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Spokane Tribe of Indians are just a few of the agencies we cooperate with. Our current programs include:

  • Monitoring Spokane River Flows

We implement a minimum discharge flow from the Post Falls Hydroelectric Development to protect wild “redband” rainbow trout that live in the Spokane River in Idaho and Washington. Between 2010 and 2015 we will monitor river flows and water temperatures in the Spokane River to better understand the relationship between flows, water temperature, and their possible effects on fish habitat.Trout stocking

  • Trout Stocking

Each year we stock the Upper Falls and Nine Mile Reservoirs with 6,000 and 9,000 hatchery raised rainbow trout (respectively) to provide urban fishing opportunities. Hatchery trout can be identified by checking for their adipose fin, which has been removed. Please check the current angling regulations before you go fishing to help protect the native “redband” trout.

  • Wild Rainbow Trout Population Assessment

Avista and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are conducting a population assessment of the fish that live in the Upper Falls Reservoir to determine if there are impacts associated with spilling water through the river's Upper Falls for aesthetic purposes. We are also conducting a ten-year population assessment of ”redband” trout in the Spokane River between Monroe Street Dam and the Nine Mile Reservoir to better understand how flows relate to their spawning success. 

  • Post Falls Downramping

Avista is required to operate the Post Falls Hydroelectric Development in a manner that prevents the Spokane River from dropping more than four inches in an hour downstream of the dam. The purpose of this “down ramping” requirement is to protect ”redband” rainbow trout from being stranded in the Spokane River. We also conducted a two-year survey to evaluate fish habitat and the protection provided by this ramping rate.

  • Idaho Fisheries Plan

Avista, together with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will implement fisheries protection measures in Coeur d’Alene Lake, and the St. Joe, Coeur d’Alene, and St. Maries Rivers and their tributaries over the term of the Project License. This program provides protection for native westslope cutthroat trout (Idaho’s state fish) and bull trout.

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Fisheries Work Plans and Reports

As part of the Spokane River Project License, we are implementing numerous work plans that guide our actions on the Spokane River and in the Coeur d’Alene Lake basin. On an annual basis, we consult with agencies and special interest groups to ensure our plans are accomplishing agreed upon actions. Work Plans and Reports associated with each of the fisheries programs include the following:

Upper Falls, Monroe Street, Nine Mile, and Long Lake (Lake Spokane) Hydroelectric Developments, and the Spokane River

Rainbow trout Revised Lake Spokane Fishery Enhancement and Creel Survey Plan Pursuant to Article 406, March 28, 2013 
Middle Spokane River Baseline Fish Population Assessment Final Report 2012
Upper Falls and Nine Mile Reservoir Rainbow Trout Stocking Plan 
Middle Spokane River Baseline Fish Population Assessment Annual Progress Report 2011 
Lake Spokane Creel Survey 2011 
Lake Spokane Fishery Enhancement and Creel Survey Plan June 11, 2010

Regulators, agency partners, and stakeholders: Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Spokane Tribe of Indians.

Post Falls (Coeur d’Alene Lake) Hydroelectric Development and the Upper Spokane River

Upper Spokane River Rainbow Trout Spawning and Fry Emergence Protection 2014 Annual Report 
Upper Spokane River Rainbow Trout Spawning and Fry Emergence Protection Plan, dated August 28, 2014
Native Salmonid Habitat Protection Project Annual Work Plan 2013
Fishery Protection and Enhancement: Marble Creek Splash Dam Passage Project Annual Work Plan 2013
Coeur d'Alene Lake Fisheries Public Education and Outreach Project Annual Work Plan 2013
Post Falls HED Recreational Fishery Project Annual Work Plan 2013
Upper Spokane River Redband Trout Spawning and Fry Emergence Study Annual Progress Report 2012
Spokane River Ramping Rate Evaluation Report 2012
Fishery Protection and Enhancement Plan 
Upper Spokane River Rainbow Trout Spawning and Fry Emergence Protection Plan June 8, 2010 
Coeur d'Alene Lake Fisheries Public Education and Outreach Program Annual Work Plan 2012 
Coeur d'Alene River Side Channel Protection Project 2012 Annual Work Plan 
Predator Fish Removal Analysis, Lower St. Joe River, Idaho, 2009-2011
Spokane River Water Temperature and Discharge Flow Monitoring Plan 2010, June 11, 2010 

Regulators, agency partners, and stakeholders:  the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Fisheries Correspondence

Communication and correspondence between Avista and its partners is essential as Avista implements its fisheries programs. The following documents and correspondences are provided for your reference:

General Correspondence

Correspondence Links

Washington Correspondence

Upper Falls, Monroe Street Nine Mile, and Lake Spokane (Long Lake) Hydroelectric Developments

FishFERC Letter Acknowledging Receipt of the 2014 Upper Spokane River Rainbow Trout Spawning and Fry Emergence Protection Report, dated November 18, 2014  
FERC Order Approving Revised Lake Spokane Fishery Enhancement and Creel Survey Plan Pursuant to Article 406, April 24, 2013
Avista Letter to WDFW Submitting 2012 Middle Spokane River Baseline Fish Population Assessment Final Report, January 22, 2013
Avista Letter to WDOE Submitting 2012 Middle Spokane River Baseline Fish Population Assessment Final Report, January 22, 2013
FERC Order Approving Lake Spokane Fishery Enhancement and Creel Survey Plan
FERC Order Granting Extension of Time for the Lake Spokane Fishery Enhancement Plan
FERC Order Approving the Spokane River Wild Rainbow Trout Public Education and Outreach Plan 

Idaho Correspondence

Avista Letter to WDOE Submitting 2012 Redband Trout Spawning and Fry Emergence Study, January 22, 2013 
Avista Letter to WDFW Submitting 2012 Redband Trout Spawning and Fry Emergence Study, January 22, 2013  
Avista Letters to IDEQ and WDFW Re 2012 Water Temperature and Discharge Flow Monitoring Annual Report, December 18, 2012
Idaho Department of Fish and Game Letter Approving the Five-Year Fishery Protection and Enhancement Plan
FERC Order Modifying and Approving Discharge Flow and Monitoring plan for the Post Falls Development, Article 401
FERC Order Granting an Extension of Time for the Ramping Rate Evaluation
Coeur d’Alene Lake Fisheries Public Education and Outreach Program 
Avista letter to IDFG regarding Fishery Protection and Enhancement Plan
Letter from IDFG approving Spokane River Five-Year Fishery Protection and Enhancement Plan dated May 25, 2010 
FERC Order Approving Coeur d'Alene Lake Fisheries Public Education and Outreach Program Pursuant to Article 409 
Marble Creek Splash Dam Passage Project Annual Work Plan 2012 

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Fisheries Contacts

The regulators, agency partners, and stakeholders that Avista works with and their website information is provided below:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Washington Department of Ecology

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Spokane Tribe of Indians

For more information about Avista’s fisheries programs, please contact:

Tim Vore
Environmental Specialist
Avista Utilities
1411 E. Mission Ave., MSC-1
Spokane, WA 99220-3727
Office: (509) 495-8612
tim.vore@avistacorp.com

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