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Avista featured on local sports fishing program   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Clark Fork, Environment, Spokane River, Hydro power, Video, Wildlife

A regional sports fishing television show will highlight Avista’s work in protecting natural resources associated with our Clark Fork and Spokane hydroelectric projects this spring and summer.

Columbia Country,” which airs Sunday afternoons on Fox stations throughout the northwest, is featuring two Avista projects as part of its “Safekeeping” segments. “Safekeeping” is a sponsored segment that highlights environmental activities, often focusing on efforts to protect and enhance fish habitat.

The Clark Fork Project segment features an ongoing collaborative project on Lake Pend Oreille to reduce the population of invasive lake trout. Lake Pend Oreille was once a world-class fishery for rainbow trout, bull trout and kokanee. In recent years, the lake has been taken over by lake trout (also called mackinaw), which do not coexist well with native bull trout, and which prey on kokanee, depleting the food sources for rainbow and bull trout. This project offers angler incentives and brings in commercial netters to “fish out” the invasive lake trout.

Avista helps fund the Lake Pend Oreille project through our Clark Fork Project license, which includes Noxon Rapids Dam in Montana and Cabinet Gorge Dam in northern Idaho.

The Spokane segment features a new rainbow trout spawning study on the Spokane River, part of our new 50-year operating license for the five hydroelectric developments that make up Avista’s Spokane River Project. The spawning study is part of a ten-year collaboration with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to better understand the relationship between river flow and the rainbow trout population and their spawning habitat from Monroe Street Dam downstream to Nine Mile Dam.

A similar project has been in effect for several years in the Upper Spokane River, and we hope this project will help us better understand how managing river flows affects water levels in Lake Coeur d’Alene and habitat for rainbow trout downstream. By doing so, we hope to ultimately encourage growth of the rainbow trout population in the Spokane River.

Both of these projects show how Avista works with others to care for the natural resources affected by our projects. They are great examples of how we make our commitment to environment part of our daily operations throughout Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

“Columbia Country” airs at 4 p.m. on Sunday on Spokane’s FOX-TV. (For other stations, check local listings). Or, you can see the segments here.
Posted by  System Account  on  3/10/2010
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