Kootenai River, MT and ID — Freshwater Map collected and analyzed data from Kootenai Falls to Moyie Creek to help MTFWP determine why white sturgeon and multiple other endangered species in this reach are not reproducing in the wild. This drift map, which shows the paths of sturgeon embryos in the river, helps biologists determine the optimum water release from Libby dam when endangered sturgeon are spawning. We have generated these, as well as bathymetry, and flow velocity maps, for 50 km (30 miles) of river. These maps help wildlife managers determine abundance and location of juvenile rearing habitat at varying flows to help this endangered species succeed. This work, together with the decades-long work being done by the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, enables wildlife managers to view the Kootenai River as an entire system as it winds from Libby Dam into the cross-border Kootenay Lake.
Missouri River, MT and ND — Freshwater Map has collected and analyzed data sets on the Missouri River between Ft. Peck, Montana and Williston, North Dakota to help wildlife managers and dam operators restore populations of pallid sturgeon. This ancient species of sturgeon has not successfully reproduced in the wild in over 40 years. Detailed mapping and analysis of habitat will enable scientists to better understand the reasons for the lack of recruitment and help design operational and habitat mitigation strategies to enable the species to thrive.
Client: Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (lead client), with support from Western Area Power Alliance, USGS, Army Corps of Engineers.