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Kootenai Tribal Sturgeon Hatchery

The Kootenai Tribal Sturgeon Hatchery plays a major role in the recovery of the white sturgeon species. The hatchery was built in the spring of 1991 as an experimental facility to help enhance the endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon population. Recent improvements to the hatchery, along with a continued understanding on the culture of white sturgeon, have contributed greatly. The hatchery raises one- and two-year-old sturgeon for release into the Kootenai River as directed under research objectives. Funding is provided by the Bonneville Power Administration under the support of the Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980.

White Sturgeon
Click photo to learn more about the White Sturgeon

The hatchery is located on Kootenai Tribe property three miles west of Bonners Ferry. Visitors are invited to stop in anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call for directions or to arrange a tour; 208-267-7082. Hatchery personnel take pride in the upkeep of the hatchery, cleaning the tanks and feeding the fish daily. The spawning process takes place between April and June, a busy time for hatchery personnel. In addition to white sturgeon, rainbow trout are also raised at the hatchery, and used as food for adult sturgeon brought into the hatchery for spawning.