'Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)'
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) wrote the 'Fisheries Mitigation Plan for Losses Attributable to the Construction and Operation of Hungry Horse Dam' in March 1991 to define the fisheries losses, mitigation alternatives and recommendations to protect, mitigate and enhance resident fish and aquatic habitat affected by Hungry Horse Dam. On November 12, 1991, the Northwest Power Planning Council (NPPC) approved the mitigation plan with minor modifications, called for a detailed implementation plan, and amended measures 903(h)(1) through (7). A long-term mitigation plan was submitted in August 1992, was approved by the Council in 1993, and the first contract for this project was signed on November 11, 1993. The problem this project addresses is the loss of habitat, both in quality and quantity, in the Flathead Lake and River basin resulting from the construction and operation of Hungry Horse Dam. The purpose of the project is to both implement mitigation measures and monitor the biological responses to those measures including those implemented by Project Numbers 9101903 and 9101904. Goals and objectives of the 1994 Fish and Wildlife Program (Section 10.1) addressed by this project are the rebuilding to sustainable levels weak, but recoverable, native populations injured by the hydropower system. The project mitigates the blockage of spawning runs by Hungry Horse Dam by restoring and even creating spawning habitats within direct drainages to Flathead Lake. The project also addresses the altered habitat within Flathead Lake resulting from species shifts and consequent dominance of new species that restricts the potential success of mitigation measures. Specific goals of this project are to create and restore habitat and quantitatively monitor changes in fish populations to verify the efficacy of our mitigation measures. The project consists of three components: monitoring, restoration and research. Monitoring, for example, includes a spring gillnetting series conducted annually in Flathead Lake and builds on an existing data set initiated in 1981. Monitoring of the experimental kokanee reintroduction was a primary activity of this project between 1992 and 1997. Lake trout, whose high densities have precluded successful mitigation of losses of other species in Flathead Lake, have been monitored since 1996 to measure several biological parameters. Results of this work have utility in determining the population status of this key predator in Flathead Lake. The project has also defined the baseline condition of the Flathead Lake fishery in 1992-1993 and has conducted annual lakewide surveys since 1998. The restoration component of the project has addressed several stream channel, riparian, and fish passage problems, and suppression of non-native fish. The research component of the project began in FY 2000 and measured trophic linkages between M. relicta and other species to assist in predicting the results of our efforts to suppress lake trout. Only Work Element A in the Statement of Work is funded entirely by Hungry Horse Mitigation funds. Additional funds are drawn from other sources to assist in completion of all remaining Work Elements