SUPPORT THE RESTORATION OF PRIEST RIVER

SUPPORT THE RESTORATION OF PRIEST RIVER

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Friends of the Priest River started this petition to State Senator Jim Woodward and

SUPPORT THE RESTORATION OF PRIEST RIVER


A dam was built on Priest Lake in 1950.  The dam's primary purpose is to maintain lake levels desirable for summer recreation. The dam has significantly affected the water quality of Priest River by increasing water temperature in the river, particularly during July, August and September.  This change has been detrimental to Priest River's native cold water fish species -- Westslope Cutthroat and Bull Trout. Bull Trout are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Since the dam was built, native fish populations have declined.  Priest River needs Help!  It is time to stop further damage and “Restore Priest River.” 

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality completed The Priest River Subbasin Assessment in 2001. This study was mandated by the United States Clean Water Act and requires Idaho to develop a plan to restore basic water quality for impaired waters.  Priest River is classified as temperature impaired.  https://www2.deq.idaho.gov/admin/LEIA/api/document/download/12019
An update to this study in 2016 confirmed that the Priest River, below the dam to its confluence with the Pend Oreille River, is temperature impaired.  https://mywaterway.epa.gov/waterbody-report/IDEQ/ID17010215PN001_05/2020

During the 2010's, the Kalispel Tribe and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game began research on how to rehabilitate Priest River and its fishery.  This research has focused on lowering the water temperature during the critical July, August and September months, by reducing surface outflow and replacing a portion of that with cold water from the bottom of the lake or other sources. Under this scenario, flow regimes and lake levels would be maintained. The research indicates that restoring cold water flow to Priest River would provide much needed improvement to water quality creating a river habitat sustainable for native fish to repopulate. A restored cold water fishery would bring back fishing opportunities, attract new anglers, and boost the local economy.  By signing this Petition you are supporting efforts to use cold water to restore Priest River to a high value, cold water fishery.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!