This paper reviews the development and status of operations at Libby and Hungry Horse dams (Montana Operations), and related operations at Selis Ksanka Qlispe (formerly Kerr) Dam that affect Flathead Lake, the largest fresh water lake in the western United States.
This history describes how these operations evolved over time to address the dams’ effects on the ecosystem, communities, and natural resources. It addresses operational changes responding to Endangered Species Act listings that occurred in 1991-2000, as well as biological opinions issued by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and fish and wildlife recovery programs adopted by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. It reviews current Montana Operations and recommends improvements to increase benefits from basin dam operations. A technical appendix contains a more detailed explanation of the current Montana Operations.
This paper was produced in March 2017 by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks; the Montana office of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council; and in consultation with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.