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BACKGROUND

CBFWCP ACHIEVEMENTS

PROGRAM EVOLUTION

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BACKGROUND

1934
Grand Coulee Dam is constructed in Washington State to control floods and produce electricity. It stops anadromous runs of sockeye and Chinook salmon and steelhead trout in the Columbia Basin, primarily in Arrow Lakes and Upper Columbia River near Invermere.

1948
Spring floods devastate houses, businesses and communities along the Columbia River in Canada and the U.S. claiming 41 lives, leaving 38,000 people homeless. A U.S./Canada International Joint Commission (IJC) begins study of the basin for possible sites for flood control storage projects. The IJC identified areas of storage within Canada to control future flooding situations.

1949
Mysid shrimp introduced in Kootenay Lake as a food source for intermediate-sized rainbow trout.

1953
Cominco phosphate fertilizer plant on Kootenay River is operational and causes a significant decline in water quality and an increase in nutrient levels in Kootenay Lake.
1961
Canadian and U.S. governments sign Columbia River Treaty, requiring Canada to build large dams and storage reservoirs: the Mica, Hugh Keenleyside and Duncan dams. The Canadian government transfers the Canadian portion of the treaty to the B.C. government. The U.S. is allowed to build Libby Dam in Montana and flood land upstream in Canada (Koocanusa Reservoir).

1962
The B.C. government creates BC Hydro as the "Columbia River Treaty Entity" responsible for building and operating dams and reservoirs for flood control and power production.

1964
Columbia River Treaty is ratified with the B.C. government allowed to sell a 50% share of downstream benefits for 30 years to build Columbia River Treaty dams and reservoirs.

1967
Duncan Dam is constructed above Kootenay Lake and creates a 7,145 hectare Duncan Lake reservoir.

1968
Fisheries managers introduce Mysid shrimp into Arrow Lakes Reservoir as a food source for young fish-eating trout.

1969
The Hugh Keenleyside Dam is constructed, flooding the Upper and Lower Arrow two lakes to create one reservoir of water and eliminating an estimated 30% of spawning/rearing habitat.

1972
Libby Dam is constructed, affecting both fish and wildlife habitat. Nutrient retention in Kootenay Lake (phosphorus loading) declines to one-third of historical levels following pollution control measures at Cominco’s fertilizer plant.

1973
Cominco fertilizer plant on Kootenay River shuts down.

1976
The Mica Dam is constructed and begins operations with a further impact on fishing stocks. Seven Mile Dam is constructed on Pend d’Oreille River, impacting ungulate habitat. Mica and Pend d’Oreille compensation programs are created to compensate for fish and wildlife impacts by the dams.

1977
Number of spawning kokanee returning to spawn in North Arm of Kootenay Lake is estimated at 1.4 million.
1980
Hill Creek Spawning Channel is completed to compensate for impact of Hugh Keenleyside Dam on fish populations. The channel is 3.2 km long, 6.1 km wide with 56 settling-basin holding areas for spawners and a capacity for 150,000 kokanee salmon.

1982
The Hill Creek Hatchery is completed to replace the anticipated loss of Arrow Lakes fish spawning capacity as a result of Revelstoke Dam.

1984
Revelstoke Dam is constructed, flooding 150 km of mainstem Columbia River and 200 km of tributaries, and significantly impacting fish stocks and habitat over a 11,560 hectare area. Cumulative impact of dams was the estimated loss of 66% of the bull trout population.

1987
Hill Creek Hatchery size is doubled to produce Arrow Lakes fish lost as a result of the Hugh Keenleyside Dam. Capacity is 100,000 fingerling bull trout, 20,000 yearling rainbow trout, 60,000 yearling Gerrard rainbow trout and up to 2 million kokanee eggs per year.

1990
Kootenay Lake South Arm kokanee stocks are virtually extinct. B.C. Environment, Kootenay Region Fisheries holds public meetings to explore restoration options.

1991
Kootenay Lake North Arm spawning kokanee escapement declines to 237,000.

1992
BC Environment and BC Hydro begins five-year experimental fertilization project in North Arm of Kootenay Lake.

1994/95
The Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (CBFWCP) is created which consolidates all previous compensation programs in the basin. The Program begins delivering projects to sustain and enhance fish and wildlife populations affected by BC Hydro dam-related activities in the Columbia Basin. Funding is $3.2 million (indexed for inflation based on 1995 dollars) in perpetuity from BC Hydro as a part of the crown corporation.s water license agreement.

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