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Kootenai Management Unit Trends

Information and data adapted from Parker, B., T, Rien, B. James, R. Beamesderfer. 2013. Review Draft Columbia Basin White Sturgeon Planning Framework. Portland, Or.

Click on subpopulation to view status and trends.    To view all subpopulations in the basin click here
Kootenai Management Unit Kootenai subpopulation
The Kootenay Lake and Kootenai River White Sturgeon Management Unit includes the Kootenai River subpopulation which is recognized as the only naturally landlocked white sturgeon population in North America. Federally listed as endangered in 1994, the Kootenai River supopulation has been declining for the last 50 years, with little or no recruitment since 1974. White sturgeon managers and researchers have speculated that extinction is plausible as the population has reached a status at which genetic and demographic risks are dire. Factors contributing to the ongoing decline of wild white sturgeon in the Kootenai River include: loss of floodplain habitat and connectivity, water quality (temperature), altered flows, loss of nutrients, habitat (diversity, quality, and quantity), predation, and competition due to changes in fish species composition.

To protect the existing population, current regulations prohibit angling for white sturgeon in the Lake Kootenay and Kootenai River Management Unit.