FWS announces critical habitat for Kootenai sturgeon
73 Fed. Reg. 39506 (Wednesday, July 9, 2008)(Department of the Interior; Fish and Wildlife Service; 50 CFR Part 17; Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Critical Habitat Revised Designation for the Kootenai River Population of the White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus); Final Rule)
The Kootenai sturgeon, one of 18 land-locked populations of white sturgeon known to occur in western North America, was listed as endangered in 1994 (September 6, 1994; 59 FR 45989), and is restricted to approximately 168 RM (270 RKM) of the Kootenai River in Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia, Canada. The sturgeon have been described as having a unique two-step pre-spawning migration process, migrating first from the lower river and Kootenay Lake during autumn to staging reaches in the Kootenai River, then migrating in spring to the spawning reach near Bonners Ferry, Idaho… Successful reproduction is dependent upon… rocky substrates for spawning and attachment of eggs, and meeting in-water minimum flow, depth, and temperature requirements on at least an intermittent basis during the spawning period from May through the end of June. Photo by Idaho Department of Fish and Game, available from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are revising the designation of critical habitat for the Kootenai River population of the white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) (Kootenai sturgeon) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In total, 18.3 river miles (RM) (29.5 river kilometers (RKM)) of the Kootenai River are designated as critical habitat within Boundary County, Idaho. DATES: This rule becomes effective August 8, 2008.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: See, Seattle post intelligencer article. and FWS and Montana information pages on white sturgeon o