The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho contacted GBI to provide construction services for habitat restoration along the Kootenai River near Bonners Ferry. This was to be an ongoing, multi-year project, to promote migrations, occupancy, spawning, incubation, recruitment, and early rearing of the White Sturgeon population.
There were many facets and phases to this restoration project, including the restoration of more than 15,600 linear feet of bank, developing 85 acres of floodplain, and revegetating the land with 50 acres of indigenous plantings.
On the water, GBI developed nearly 110 acres of additional floodplain development and 13 pool-forming structures, and six mega pools that allow sturgeon to rest and feed during migration. We installed 15,000+ logs, 1,500 log piles, nearly 127,000 cubic yards of riprap, and 10,500 cubic yards of rock substrate via barge.
We also constructed the infrastructure for a new sturgeon and burbot fish hatchery, the first of its kind ever conceived in the US. The new Kootenai River Burbot fishery opened to anglers on January 1st of 2019.
To date, more than 8.5 miles of river bank and side channel enhancements have been completed along the Kootenai River, creating habitat for aquatic species and a more resilient ecosystem that will support all life stages of the endangered White Sturgeon. Equally important, GBI has established lifelong friendships with tribal members, project planning and development teams, landowners, community members, and local contractors and suppliers. We look forward to a continuing partnership with the Tribe to accomplish their goal of restoring the Kootenai River system.
“The GBI team has effectively helped meet the complex goals of implementing large-scale river restoration for the Tribe. They have been very committed to making sure that the Tribe’s project goals are met, and they have a proven ability to lead and implement successful large-scale complex projects within a defined schedule and budget.”
–Susan Ireland, Fish And Wildlife Department Director, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho