• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by Lauren Sweeney 2 months, 2 weeks ago

 Welcome to the Lake Koocanusa Conservation Page


This website is dedicated to sharing progress toward maintaining and protecting the uses of Lake Koocanusa and gathering input from interested parties. You can navigate to various files using the Navigator side bar (located on the right side) and by clicking the Pages & Files tab (located on the upper left).



The Lake Koocanusa Monitoring and Research Working Group concluded on December 11, 2023. Please see the closure letter sent from ENV and DEQ here: 406568_LKMRWG closure_December 11 2023.pdf

The wiki site contains all the records from the LKMRWG and will remain available for a minimum of one calendar year. ENV and DEQ will retain full records of the contents of the wiki site, and will provide copies on request. While the site remains available, individual records can be downloaded as desired. 




Fall Lake Koocanusa Monitoring and Research Working Group Meeting - November 18, 2021

Thank you to the LKMRWG for a productive fall teleconference meeting. The presentations and and the meeting summary have been posted. 


A teleconference is scheduled from 9:30 - 3:30 pm MST on November 18, 2021 via Zoom. 



Spring Lake Koocanusa Monitoring and Research Working Group Meeting - March 11, 2021

A teleconference is scheduled from 1:30 - 5:00 pm MST on March 11, 2021 via Zoom. 

Lake Koocanusa August 2020 Monitoring and Research and Selenium Technical Subcommittee Meetings 

A teleconference Selenium Technical Subcommittee (SeTSC) meeting is scheduled for August 17 from 10-12p MST.


A teleconference Lake Koocanusa Monitoring and Research Committee (MRC) meeting is scheduled for August 25. Exact time TBD please check back for more details 


Lake Koocanusa November 2019 Monitoring and Research and Selenium Technical Subcommittee Meetings

The fall 2019 Monitoring and Research Committee (MRC) and Selenium Technical Subcommittee (SeTSC) meetings will be held November 13-14 at the Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish, MT. The SeTSC will be held November 13 and the MRC meeting will be held November 14. Agendas for each meeting can be found on this site within the MRC/SeTSC folders. 


The Kootenai River Network will be hosting public meeting November 12 from 5-7 pm in Libby, MT at the Maki Theater and November 13 from 6-8 pm in Eureka, MT at the Lincoln County High School Auditorium.

Montana DEQ will give an opening presentation and a panel question and answer session will follow. Panelists will include representatives from Montana Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Confederated and Salish Kootenai Tribes, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and Teck Resources Limited. 



Lake Koocanusa October 2018 Monitoring and Research and Selenium Technical Subcommittee Meetings


The Lake Koocanusa Monitoring and Research Working Group (LKMRWG) and Monitoring Research Committee held a face to face meeting on October 29, 2018 at the St Eugene Mission Hotel in Cranbrook BC. Participants shared a variety of updates on monitoring and analysis work underway on both sides of the border and engaged in an open discussion about the future direction for the LKMRWG.


The following day, the Selenium Technical Subcommittee held their face to face meeting at the same location, where participants shared more detailed updates on monitoring and assessment activities, discussed preliminary findings and outlined a work plan for the next six months.


Notes from both meetings will be circulated to LKMRWG and Selenium Technical Subcommittee members for review by the end of November 2018 for comment and review. Final versions will be posted on the wiki.



Lake Koocanusa October 2017 Monitoring and Research and Selenium Technical Subcommittee Meetings


We had two days of productive and thought-provoking meetings October 17th and 18th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kalispell.  Thank you to all of our Monitoring and Research Committee (MRC) and Selenium Technical Subcommittee (Se-TSC) members, none of this would be possible without you!


Very briefly, items of discussion on the first day were Lake Koocanusa and the Kootenai River nutrients and metabolism and the fish tissue status in Lake Koocanusa.  Also discussed were general metals and nutrient concentrations and trends in the reservoir.  The group saw a presentation by Lotic on the progress of the State of the Lake Report, which is a compilation of current and historic data collected in the reservoir.  The importance of studying cumulative effects and the Cumulative Effects Framework was briefly discussed.  For more information on BC’s Cumulative Effects Framework, please see https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/cumulative-effects-framework .


The second day focused on the recently completed Ecosystem-Scale Selenium Model and how the data currently being collected may inform the model https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/58ecf623e4b0b4d95d335366.   Many important questions were discussed and several key decisions were made by consensus among the Se technical subcommittee.  Notes from both meetings will be sent to the MRC and Se-TS by the end of November for comment and review.  Thank you all for your continued passion, dedication and hard work.



USGS Releases Selenium Modeling Framework for Lake Koocanusa


An exciting milestone in the development of a selenium site-specific criteria/objective for Lake Koocanusa has recently been achieved with the publication of the Selenium Modeling Framework.  For the USGS press release and link to the final document, please see the following website: https://www.usgs.gov/news/usgs-releases-selenium-modeling-framework-montana-and-british-columbia-s-lake-Koocanusa 



Kootenai River Network to Host Two Public Meetings




Media Contact: Brian Sugden, kootenairivernetwork@gmail.com

The Kootenai River Network (KRN) is hosting two public meetings to discuss proposed and ongoing coal mining operations in the Elk River Valley, British Columbia and the associated impacts on water quality in Montana. The first meeting will be held in Eureka at the Eureka High School auditorium located at 340 9th Street on October 16th from 7-9 p.m. The second meeting will be held on October 17th in Kalispell at the Hilton Garden Inn in the Glacier Room II from 7-9 p.m. The Hilton Garden Inn is located at 1840 US Highway 93 South.


For more information about the Kootenai River Network, please visit our website at www.kootenairivernetwork.com



Initial USGS Data Release


The U.S. Geological Survey in collaboration with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, British Columbia Ministry of Environment, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 8) have publically released data associated with an ongoing environmental study of Lake Koocanusa. This Data Release (USGS Measurements of Dissolved and Suspended Particulate Material Selenium in Lake Koocanusa in the Vicinity of Libby Dam (MT), 2015-2016) is part of a multi-agency project to apply an ecosystem-scale selenium modeling methodology to Lake Koocanusa to support development of a site-specific selenium guideline for the protection of aquatic life in the reservoir. Lake Koocanusa is a border reservoir between British Columbia and Montana. Data included in this release were collected during the periods of May, 2015 to October, 2015 and April, 2016 to September, 2016. The Data Release also contains 1) a location map; 2) a modeling schematic; 3) collection methods, analytical methods, and quality control information; 4) spreadsheets and graphical displays of selenium data; and 5) hydrological parameters related to sampling conditions at the lake. The Data Release will be updated and modified as additional sampling and analysis takes place and is available to all interested parties at: https://doi.org/10.5066/F7ZP44C9




LKMRWG May Stakeholder Newsletter


The first LKMRWG Stakeholder Newsletter was sent out last month and highlights several groups working in the watershed. 

To view the May newsletter, please click here MayNewsletter_Koocanusa.pdf


March 6th and 7th Go To Meeting


A meeting of the LKMRWG will be held in early March to report out on action items identified at both the LKMRWG and the Se Technical Subcommittee Meetings in Cranbrook, October, 2016.  Information on current research and monitoring occurring on Lake Koocanusa will also be presented by multiple agencies.  You can view the draft agenda here Agenda_Go_to_March_6_7.docx .  In preparation for this meeting, it may be helpful to review the notes from the October, 2016 meeting (see below) and the proposed 2017 Plans found here 2017_Sampling_and_Analysis_Plans .  For further information on selenium, see https://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/Selenium/index.html .  Many great papers on selenium and the ecosystem selenium model can be found under the library tab on the left-hand side of this page, scroll down for the modeling papers. 



October 2016 Meeting, Cranbrook, BC


A meeting of the Lake Koocanusa Monitoring and Research Working group was held in Cranbrook, BC October 25-26.  The agenda can be found here KoocanusaCranbrook_Oct2016_draftagenda_final (2).docx .  Materials from the meeting can be found here Mtg 3 - Oct 2016 for the LKMRWG and Meeting 2_October 2016  for the Se Technical Subcommittee.


Current Progress


The United States and Canada are currently collaborating to join efforts and determine selenium criteria/objectives that are protective of aquatic life in Lake Koocanusa.  Because Lake Koocanusa is an international waterbody, with inputs from rivers near Canadian mining operations, it is critical to have both countries and stakeholders involved in the process of developing criteria/objectives. 


Much monitoring has been done on both sides of the border.  Baseline levels of metals, nutrients, water chemistry and biological status have been monitored for multiple years.  The first meeting of the Lake Koocanusa Monitoring and Research Working Group (LKMRWG) was in October 2015 and the second was in January 2016.  To learn more about the LKMRWG and its structure, please see the group's draft Terms of Reference (TOR) here Commitee_Governance_Docs


From the LKMRWG, a technical selenium subcommittee was formed.  The first meeting of the Selenium Technical Subcommittee was in January 2016.  Several monitoring activities have been initiated as a result of the Selenium Technical Subcommittee and are described here: 2016_monitoring_activities.  In addition, a selenium conceptual model and a data compilation for Lake Koocanusa are currently being pursued. 


The 2017 monitoring season is currently being planned and sampling plans can be found here  2017_Sampling_and_Analysis_Plans .  A Go To Meeting March 6th and 7th will update MRC members on progress made and 2017 monitoring plans. 



International Agreements


Memorandum of Agreement  (MOA) respecting the Monitoring and Research Group

The BC Ministry of Environment (MOE), Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency are currently working toward signing an MOA to establish a monitoring and research working group that will identify transboundary environmental impacts to Lake Koocanusa, and develop protective science-based water quality criteria/objectives for the lake as a whole. 

This MOA is an exciting new development toward protecting and maintaining the uses of Lake Koocanusa and the details of this MOA, and the progress of the workgroup will be detailed on this website.


Mt BC Memorandum of Understanding

In 2010, The Province of British Columbia (BC) and The State of Montana (Mt) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Cooperation on Environmental Protection, Climate Action and Energy,

www.gov.bc.ca/igrs/attachments/en/MTEnvCoop.pdf .  In the MOU, BC and the Mt, together with the Ktunaxa Nation and Confederate Salish and Kootenai Tribes, agree to work together to cooperate on fish and wildlife management, environmental assessment of cross border projects with the potential to degrade land or water resources, to share information, to collaborate in response to emergencies and not to allow mining, oil, gas and coal development in the Flathead River Basin.




Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.