Clark Fork Native Fish Restoration Project

Project Name: Clark Fork River Native Fish Restoration Project

Location: Clark Fork River, Idaho and Montana

Client: Avista

Services: Fish Restoration Management Plan

Project Summary:

The Cabinet Gorge and Noxon Rapids projects are located on the lower Clark Fork River in Idaho and Montana. During relicensing of these projects, Avista, regulators and stakeholders assessed the projects’ role in protection of dwindling populations of a number of native salmonid species, most notably bull trout and west slope cutthroat trout. 

Kleinschmidt teamed with K.L. Pratt Consulting to assist Avista and stakeholders to develop a plan for mitigation measures to support restoration efforts. Kleinschmidt developed a management plan which drew upon a forty year adaptive management strategy. 

The plan incorporated strategies, schedule and budget for tributary and main stem habitat restoration, genetics, pathogen control, exotic species competition, population monitoring and modeling based on a detailed review of the species’ biology and years of basin sampling data. The plan was designed to provide quantitative feedback at strategic time increments over the forty year plan life, so that program managers could measure progress toward goals, modify the plan as necessary, and strategically budget and implement long term strategies such as fish passage. 

Through text and flow charts, the plan identified decision pathways to guide decision-making. Kleinschmidt was able to finalize the plan, thus streamlining the licensing process, and also develop a management plan which has a win/win outcome for all parties.