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Fisheries

Avista implements programs to protect and enhance fisheries resources associated with the Spokane River Hydroelectric Project. Our current programs include:

  • Spokane River Flows

    Each year, depending on the amount of snow, precipitation and run-off, Avista manages Spokane River flows to benefit important habitat for wild rainbow "redband" trout.

  • Trout Stocking

    Each year, in Washington Avista stocks 15,000 hatchery raised rainbow trout in the Upper Falls and Nine Mile Reservoirs and 155,000 hatchery raised rainbow trout in Lake Spokane to provide urban fishing opportunities.  We conduct periodic angler creel surveys to assess the effectiveness of the Lake Spokane stocking program and gain information on fishing conditions.

    In Idaho, we stock family fishing ponds near Post Falls and St. Maries.

    Hatchery trout can be differentiated from wild trout by checking for their adipose fin, which has been removed. See pictures of the fish.

  • Post Falls Downramping

    Avista operates the Post Falls Hydroelectric Development in a manner to prevent the Spokane River from dropping more than four inches in an hour downstream of the dam. This "down ramping" requirement was developed to protect redband trout and other fish species from being stranded, as river flows drop in the spring and summer months.

  • Redband Trout Population Assessment

    Avista and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are conducting a ten-year population assessment of redband trout in the Spokane River between Monroe Street Dam and the Nine Mile Reservoir. This study will allow us to better understand how spring flows relate to spawning and survival success in this river stretch.

  • Rainbow Trout Assessment in Lake Spokane

    In 2017, Avista will initiate a rainbow trout population and habitat assessment in Lake Spokane. Rainbow trout will be marked with external tags so individual fish can be tracked to assess growth and survival over time. The habitat assessment will include collecting water quality data throughout the warm weather months to identify the current status of the lake’s hydrodynamics and water quality. Additionally, rainbow trout will be collected from the lake to directly identify where the fish are located and what water quality characteristics the fish are inhabiting.

    Avista is dedicated to providing recreational fishing opportunities in Lake Spokane and these data will help us gain a better understanding of how the rainbow trout population is functioning and how they are utilizing the lake’s unique hydrodynamics.

  • Idaho Fisheries Program

    Avista, together with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, implement fisheries protection and enhancement measures in Coeur d'Alene Lake and the St. Joe, Coeur d'Alene and St. Maries rivers, and their tributaries. This program focuses on protecting and enhancing habitat for native westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, along with other native fish species present in the basin.

  • Lake Spokane Carp Removal

    Avista, in cooperation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will initiate winter and late spring carp removal as a means to improve water quality in Lake Spokane. Carp are invasive, have a large biomass, and can negatively impact water quality through their decomposition after they die, as well as through their feeding habits and spawning behavior, which stir up bottom sediments. The carp removal activities are anticipated to occur annually or biannually until the desired level of carp are removed.

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Fisheries Work Plans and Reports

Since 2010, we have developed and 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 state and federal fisheries agencies and interest groups to ensure our plans accomplish 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

Revised Lake Spokane Fishery Enhancement and Creel Survey Plan Pursuant to Article 406, March 15, 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

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

Five-Year Fishery Protection and Enhancement Plan, 2015-2019
Five-Year Fishery Protection and Enhancement Plan, 2010-2014 Summary Report  
2014 Spokane River Water Temperature and Discharge Flow Monitoring Report 
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
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 
Predator Fish Removal Analysis, Lower St. Joe River, Idaho, 2009-2011
Spokane River Water Temperature and Discharge Flow Monitoring Plan 2010, June 11, 2010 

 

 

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Fisheries Contacts

Avista cooperates with a variety of agencies to design and conduct 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. The agencies 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

or

Chris Moan
Fisheries Habitat Biologist
Avista Utilities
1411 E. Mission Ave., MSC-1
Spokane, WA 99220-3727
Office: (509) 495-4084
chris.moan@avistacorp.com

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