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Title: Kootenai River Fisheries Investigation; Stock Status of Burbot, 2003-2004 Annual Report.

Abstract

The main objective of this investigation was to monitor movement and spawning activity of burbot Lota lota in the Kootenai River, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada during the winter of 2003-2004. Due to low precipitation and snow pack, as well as low levels of Lake Koocanusa, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers refrained from releasing discharges >113 m{sup 3}/s from Libby Dam for most of the winter. This situation provided suitable conditions for burbot migration and spawning in the mainstem river. Hoop nets captured 19 burbot, which ranged from 447 mm to 760 mm TL (mean = 630 mm) and weighed from 420 g to 4,032 g (mean = 1,937 g) with a mean W{sub r} of 99. One burbot (burbot 214) was captured for the fifth time since its first capture in 2000, and each capture was near Ambush Rock (rkm 244.4-244.8). Eleven burbot were tagged with five-month duration external sonic transmitters, and a 12th burbot, tagged with a 14-month transmitter, has been monitored since 2001. During the post-spawn period, three sonic-tagged burbot exhibited downstream and sedentary movement patterns, while five remained at Ambush Rock. Concentrations of tagged burbot near Ambush Rock (rkm 244.5) during January and February 2004more » (eight tagged fish) may suggest that this area is critical spawning habitat. The appearance of burbot at Ambush Rock during the spawning period and upstream movements of tagged fish (PIT and sonic tagged) in previous years during the low discharges help validate results suggesting that discharges <113 m{sup 3}/s will permit burbot migration and may increase spawning habitat. Though it seems apparent that the Ambush Rock area is an important burbot spawning ground, no adult burbot were recaptured after the spawning period and no burbot larva were caught, despite considerable sampling efforts during the winter of 2003-2004.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG); S.P. Cramer and Associates, Inc.; Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
Sponsoring Org.:
United States. Bonneville Power Administration.
OSTI Identifier:
901207
Report Number(s):
DOE/BP-00004691-9
IDFG 04-41; TRN: US200713%%336
DOE Contract Number:
00004691
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Chapter 1 - Project Progress Report ; Chapter 2 - Status and Population Dynamics of Burbot in the Kootenai River, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ADULTS; BRITISH COLUMBIA; CANADA; FISHERIES; HABITAT; IDAHO; LAKES; MONITORS; PRECIPITATION; RIVERS; SAMPLING; SNOW; US CORPS OF ENGINEERS; Burbot - Kootenai River - Statistics

Citation Formats

Paragamian, Vaughn L., Pyper, Brian J., and Ireland, Susan C.. Kootenai River Fisheries Investigation; Stock Status of Burbot, 2003-2004 Annual Report.. United States: N. p., 2004. Web. doi:10.2172/901207.
Paragamian, Vaughn L., Pyper, Brian J., & Ireland, Susan C.. Kootenai River Fisheries Investigation; Stock Status of Burbot, 2003-2004 Annual Report.. United States. doi:10.2172/901207.
Paragamian, Vaughn L., Pyper, Brian J., and Ireland, Susan C.. 2004. "Kootenai River Fisheries Investigation; Stock Status of Burbot, 2003-2004 Annual Report.". United States. doi:10.2172/901207. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/901207.
@article{osti_901207,
title = {Kootenai River Fisheries Investigation; Stock Status of Burbot, 2003-2004 Annual Report.},
author = {Paragamian, Vaughn L. and Pyper, Brian J. and Ireland, Susan C.},
abstractNote = {The main objective of this investigation was to monitor movement and spawning activity of burbot Lota lota in the Kootenai River, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada during the winter of 2003-2004. Due to low precipitation and snow pack, as well as low levels of Lake Koocanusa, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers refrained from releasing discharges >113 m{sup 3}/s from Libby Dam for most of the winter. This situation provided suitable conditions for burbot migration and spawning in the mainstem river. Hoop nets captured 19 burbot, which ranged from 447 mm to 760 mm TL (mean = 630 mm) and weighed from 420 g to 4,032 g (mean = 1,937 g) with a mean W{sub r} of 99. One burbot (burbot 214) was captured for the fifth time since its first capture in 2000, and each capture was near Ambush Rock (rkm 244.4-244.8). Eleven burbot were tagged with five-month duration external sonic transmitters, and a 12th burbot, tagged with a 14-month transmitter, has been monitored since 2001. During the post-spawn period, three sonic-tagged burbot exhibited downstream and sedentary movement patterns, while five remained at Ambush Rock. Concentrations of tagged burbot near Ambush Rock (rkm 244.5) during January and February 2004 (eight tagged fish) may suggest that this area is critical spawning habitat. The appearance of burbot at Ambush Rock during the spawning period and upstream movements of tagged fish (PIT and sonic tagged) in previous years during the low discharges help validate results suggesting that discharges <113 m{sup 3}/s will permit burbot migration and may increase spawning habitat. Though it seems apparent that the Ambush Rock area is an important burbot spawning ground, no adult burbot were recaptured after the spawning period and no burbot larva were caught, despite considerable sampling efforts during the winter of 2003-2004.},
doi = {10.2172/901207},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2004,
month =
}

Technical Report:

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  • The Kootenai River Fisheries Investigation Project planned to monitor burbot Lota lota movement in the winter of 2002-2003 and test a hypothesis regarding the relationship of winter flow to upstream spawning migration success. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bonneville Power Administration were unable to provide the consistent low winter flows needed to meet the experimental design criteria in that monitoring and evaluation plan (approximately 170 m{sup 3}/s from Libby Dam). Although conditions consistent with management for sustained minimum flows persisted throughout the winter, and stable low flows were maintained below Libby Dam from September 1 through Novembermore » 24, 2002 (158 m{sup 3}/s average) and from January 1, 2003 until May 1 (144 m{sup 3}/s average), flows in the intervening 37 d period from November 25 to December 31 were increased significantly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During that important December spawning migration period for burbot, flows were well above those proposed in the monitoring and evaluation plan and peaked at 741 m{sup 3}/s on December 21, 2002. Furthermore, despite the low flow conditions for much of the winter, our capture of 10 burbot was the lowest since this investigation began in 1993, evidence that the stock is extremely depressed and the numbers of burbot are declining. We captured a single burbot in 2002-2003 that provided circumstantial evidence reproduction occurred during the winter of 2000-2001. This burbot of 352 mm TL was among the smallest captured since sampling began in 1993. Seven burbot were monitored with sonic telemetry; two of those were tagged the previous winter. The capture of a female burbot at Ambush Rock during the spawning period supports results of previous findings that low flows during winter enhances burbot migration and spawning. Sampling for larval burbot was conducted, but no larval burbot were captured.« less
  • The main objective of this investigation was to monitor movement and spawning activity of burbot Lota lota in the Kootenai River, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada during the winter of 2004-2005. As a secondary objective, we examined the literature to obtain inferential information on how changes in historic water temperature may affect burbot movement and spawning. Discharge from Libby Dam for October 2004 ranged from 133 to 272 m{sup 3}/s, was ramped up to 532 m{sup 3}/s early in November, then was brought down to about 283 m{sup 3}/s through the last 10 days of the month. In early Decembermore » 2004, discharge was brought up to full powerhouse of about 762 m{sup 3}/s several times but remained above 436 m{sup 3}/s for most of the month. However, with the prospect of a below normal snowpack and a mild winter, discharge was brought down to 113 m{sup 3}/s, minimum flow, for the remainder of January through March 2005. Discharge did not meet the systems operation request as a burbot rehabilitation measure. Mean water temperature of the Kootenai River at Libby Dam from November 1, 2004 through April 5, 2005 was 5.3 C, ranging from 10.45 C on November 1, 2004 to 3.2 C on March 2, 2005. Tributary water temperatures were monitored in Deep, Smith, and Boundary creeks in Idaho and in the Goat River, Corn, and Summit creeks, British Columbia, Canada from November 1, 2004 to about April 18, 2005. Baited hoop nets of 25 and 19 mm bar mesh were fished from November 5, 2004 through April 4, 2005 for 2,046 net d (one net day is a single 24 h set). One hundred twenty-two fish were caught encompassing ten different species of fish. Eighteen burbot (14 different fish) were captured. Sixteen of the captures were at Ambush Rock (rkm 244.5), one was near Nicks Island (rkm 144.5), British Columbia, and the other was downstream of the Goat River (rkm 152.7). Of the 18 burbot captured, one fish escaped from the net overnight, four were recaptures from this year's study, six were recaptures from previous years, and seven were new fish. Of the recaptures, five were tagged the previous year with an external sonic transmitter (all tags were shed), and one recapture was a fish tagged in February of 2001 at the Goat River with an internal sonic transmitter. Hoop net catch per unit effort for burbot was 0.009 fish/net d or 111.1 net d/fish. Burbot total length ranged from 489 mm to 764 mm TL (mean = 615.7 mm, SD = 74.6 mm, n = 13). Burbot weight ranged from 867 g to 2,798 g (mean = 1695.8 g, SD = 555.5 g, n = 13). Our literature review indicated even subtle changes in temperature can cause a variety of changes in life history patterns and in some cases seriously alter the outcome of spawning and recruitment. Furthermore, results from a summary study of burbot from our investigations and this one indicated the effect of temperature on burbot behavior is modified by river discharge, but the two combined have probably altered the historic movement patterns of burbot, because temperatures are now warmer with higher river discharges.« less
  • Objectives of this investigation were to (1) monitor the population status and recruitment of burbot Lota lota in the Kootenai River, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada during the winter of 2006-2007; (2) evaluate the selective withdrawal system in place at Libby Dam to maintain the river temperature near Bonners Ferry between 1-4 C (November-December) to improve burbot migration and spawning activity; and (3) determine if a hatching success of 10% of eyed burbot embryos could be achieved through extensive rearing and produce fingerlings averaging 9.8 cm in six months. Water temperature did not fall below the upper limit (4 C)more » until mid-January but was usually maintained between 1-4 C January through February and was acceptable. Snowpack was characterized by a 101% of normal January runoff forecast. Adult burbot were sampled with hoop nets and slat traps. Only three burbot were captured in hoop nets, all at Ambush Rock (rkm 244.5). No burbot were caught in either slat traps or juvenile sampling gear, indicating the population is nearly extirpated. Burbot catch per unit effort in hoop nets was 0.003 fish/net d. Extensive rearing was moved to a smaller private pond and will be reported in the 2008-2009 annual report.« less
  • The author sampled 33 burbot Lota lota in the Kootenay River in British Columbia, Canada. Burbot catch from November 1994 to February 1995 averaged 0.047 fish/net-day. Total length ranged from 3854 mm to 958 mm and weighed from 272 g to 4,086 g (mean = 982 g). Twelve burbot were implanted with sonic transmitters and released at capture sites. Two additional burbot had active transmitters from the previous season. Telemetry of burbot during the pre-spawn, spawning, and post-spawning periods was conducted. Burbot were located a total of 203 times from November 1994 through August 8, 1995. Ripe burbot were capturedmore » and they appeared to have an affinity to water <2C. The author believes burbot spawned in the Goat River, British Columbia. Burbot with sonic transmitters did not reach Idaho until after the spawning period. Statistical analysis of burbot movement and discharge from Libby Dam indicated there was a significant relation between winter power production and spawning migration of burbot. A controlled test is needed to verify this relation. Zooplankton samples from the Kootenai River were substantially lower than the delta of Kootenay Lake, British Columbia, Canada.« less
  • Seventeen burbot Lota lota were caught in the Kootenai River with two sizes of hoop nets baited with fish. One burbot was a recapture. Burbot catch from March 19 through May 10, 1993 averaged 0.03 fish/net/day. Total length ranged from 367 to 701 mm and weight from 369 to 2,610 g (mean = 916 g). Nearly all burbot were caught at Ambush Rock. Preliminary findings are that burbot abundance in the Kootenai River is substantially less than it was in the late 1970s. Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and seven other species of fish were sampled in tributary streams of themore » Kootenai River. A single pass was made with a backpack electroshocker. Species diversity ranged from two found in Cascade Creek to eight each in Snow and Caribou creeks. Most streams were partially channelized in their lower reaches, and these segments were lower in species richness. Sculpins Cottus sp. were often the only species found in channelized segments. Trout were caught in all streams. Rainbow trout were the most abundant salmonid. Cutthroat trout 0. clarki numbers were highest in Cascade Creek. I estimated a total of 5,268 anglers fished 13,698 h ({+-} 3,913), for 129 h/km (n{+-} 36), from March through August 1993. Fisherman averaged 2.6 h/trip based on completed trip information. The estimated total angler catch was 5,937 fish ({+-} 3,395), of which 3,676 ({+-} 3,246) were kept. Angler effort for 1993 was similar to that of 1982. Angler harvest of rainbow trout was estimated at 700 fish ({+-} 873) and they averaged 276 mm total length. Mean catch rate for anglers fishing for rainbow trout was about 0.02 fish/h. Rainbow trout comprised 17% of the catch. Angler harvest of cutthroat trout was 105 fish ({+-} 118) at less than 0.01 fish/h and averaged 356 mm total length.« less