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Lake Pend Oreille Vemco Telemetry database

Data Categories Movements and migration
Dates of Data 2018 TO 2020
Data Set Status In work
Data Set Update Schedule Monthly
Date Data Set Published on StreamNet Data Store 01-15-2020
Project Name & Number 1994-047-00
Purpose of Data Set This project is proposed as on-site, partial mitigation for impacts of Albeni Falls Dam. Fall draw downs of the naturally created Lake Pend Oreille greatly reduced the amount of shoreline spawning habitat for kokanee, the primary forage of bull trout and rainbow trout. Albeni Falls Dam also inundated about 26 miles of the Pend Oreille River and the lower two miles of the Clark Fork River. Thus, both river and lake habitats have been changed by the operation of the dam. The goal of this project is to recover the sport fisheries that were impacted by the federal hydropower system.

Until recently, fall draw downs that negatively influenced spawning habitat were the primary limiting factor for kokanee. While lake level management is still critically important and a major player in this project, predation manifested itself as the primary limiting factor during the past decade. This study has documented that predation on kokanee is a threat to the Lake Pend Oreille ecosystem. Exceptionally high predation levels by lake trout and rainbow trout could extirpate kokanee from the lake if left unchecked. Without kokanee, lake trout and bull trout would be in direct competition for a limited food supply. In Flathead Lake, Montana and Priest Lake, Idaho, lake trout replaced bull trout as the dominant predator species once the kokanee forage base was gone. We therefore propose the objective of restoring the bull trout population so that it is healthy enough to provide a harvest of 1,000 fish annually in the lake. To accomplish this objective we propose several tasks, including the direct removal of lake trout using trap nets and gill nets. Hansen et al. (2006) estimated that lake trout are currently being exploited at a level that results in annual mortality in excess of 50%. This is beyond the threshold where lake trout populations begin to decline. Continued lake trout removal is needed to cause a substantial decline in lake trout abundance. Rainbow trout are the second most abundant kokanee predator in the lake. Management actions have been enacted to reduce rainbow trout abundance. These actions include allowing unlimited angler harvest, allowing the use of four fishing rods, opening tributary streams to fishing, and paying anglers a $15 per fish bounty. The Avista Corporation is cost-sharing on efforts to reduce kokanee predation by funding a bounty program for lake and rainbow trout harvested by anglers and by funding a large portion of the lake trout netting efforts. The current study includes work aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of predator reduction efforts. This includes evaluating the responses of predator populations and the kokanee population. In 2007, kokanee survival was at a record low and the population was on the verge of collapse. Since then kokanee survival has improved substantially, which indicates that predator removal efforts to reduce the influence of predation on kokanee are working. If these higher survival rates can be sustained, predation will no longer limit kokanee population growth. This will allow lake level management to be fully tested, without the confounding of high predation that has occurred in recent years.

Field work in this proposal is largely to be conducted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. However, several subcontracts are proposed for portions of the work. The Washington Department of Fisheries will examine kokanee otoliths to determine whether they are of wild or hatchery origin. Operation of gill nets and trap nets to remove lake trout will be conducted by Hickey Bros., LLC. A graduate project conducted by the University of Idaho will evaluate nutrient dynamics and the influence they have on kokanee survival. Additionally, the University of Idaho will conduct a graduate study to evaluate kokanee egg survival to emergence at different lake elevations and in various habitat conditions. This work will supplement existing egg-to-fry survival estimates. Finally, we will continue a sediment coring project subcontracted to TerraGraphics, Inc. to assess productivity changes that have occurred over time in Lake Pend Oreille and implications this has on kokanee survival. This work is part of the broader research we are conducting on nutrient dynamics and factors influencing kokanee survival.
Summary / Abstract Telemetry data from passive telemetry receivers in Lake Pend Oreille and adjacent rivers
Broad Biological Groups Fishes
Taxa Lake trout Salvelinus namaycush, Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, Walleye Sander vitreus
Location Lake Pend Oreille proper, Clark Fork River, Pend Oreille River, Lightning Creek, Pack River, Priest River
NPCC Subbasins (2001 Subbasins) Provincial (Intermountain/Pend Oreille)
Keywords Telemetry, movements
Lead Person and Organization That Created the Data Set Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)
Other Participating Organizations Funding provided by Bonneville Power Administration
Contact Person for Questions About the Data Name:  Pete Rust
Organization:  IDFG
Address:  2885 W. Kathleen Avenue
coeur d'alene, ID  83814
United States
Phone:  2087691414
Broad Category of Methods Field
Data Collection Methods Acoustic telemetry
File Formats Microsoft Access 2010
Data structure description See data set files.
URL where updated data may be available
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File Size: 830 KB