The declining population of Kootenai River white sturgeon, which was listed as an Endangered Species in 1994, has prompted a recovery team to assess the feasibility of various habitat enhancement scenarios to reestablish white sturgeon populations. As the first phase in this assessment, the U.S. Geological Survey collected stream channel cross-section and longitudinal data during 2002—03 at about 400 locations along the Kootenai River from Libby Dam near Libby, Montana, to where the river empties into Kootenay Lake near Creston, British Columbia, Canada. Survey control stations with a horizontal and vertical accuracy of less than 0.1 foot were established using a global positioning system (GPS) prior to collection of stream channel cross-section data along the Kootenai River. A total of 245 cross sections were surveyed. Six cross sections upstream from Kootenai Falls were surveyed using a total station where the river was too shallow or dangerous to navigate by vessel. The remaining 239 cross sections were surveyed by interfacing real-time GPS equipment with an echo sounder to obtain bathymetric data and with a laser range- finder to obtain streambank data. These data were merged, straightened, ordered, and reduced in size to be useful. Spacing between these cross sections ranged from about 600 feet in the valley flat near Deep Creek and Shorty Island and near bridges to as much as several miles in other areas. These stream channel cross sections will provide information that can be used to develop hydraulic flow models of the Kootenai River from Libby Dam, Montana, to Queens Bay on Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, Canada.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Surveying Cross Sections of the Kootenai River Between Libby Dam, Montana, and Kootenay Lake, British Columbia, Canada