On Sept. 22, Fish and Game staff hosted a virtual public meeting to further examine the feasibility of implementing a cold-water bypass to benefit the Priest River fishery.
Relevant links to the meeting are:
- Video recording of the meeting
- PDF of Advanced Eco-Solution’s limnology report
- PDF of Andy Dux’s presentation
The meeting was attended by approximately 250 interested members from the public. Attendees listened to presentations that covered background information about the project being considered, followed by a presentation from a private contractor who shared results from a recently completed limnology and water quality study in Priest Lake and the Priest River.
For parts of most summers, Priest River is too warm for native fish species like westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout to thrive. The stream is classified by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality as water quality impaired due to temperature. Historical stocking of rainbow trout proved unsuccessful in improving the fishery, attributed to summer water temperatures that climbed above 70°F.
Fish and Game is examining the potential for a cold-water bypass project to enhance trout habitat and fishing opportunity in Priest River by providing cold water from the depths of Priest Lake to the river. For more on the concept, click here.
Moving forward, Fish and Game staff will be developing a website to provide updates and new information on the cold-water bypass concept. The website will house all information, videos and documents relative to the project, and it will all be easily accessible by the public.
Until the website is complete, please contact the Panhandle Regional office at (208) 769-1414 if you would like to request any specific documents.
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