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IDFG Partnering with Private Landowners to Improve Wild Steelhead Habitat in the Potlatch River

IDFG/Photo by Robert Hand

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and partners are working to improve habitat conditions for wild steelhead in the Potlatch River in northern Idaho through stream restoration projects.

Restoring steelhead and their habitat in the Potlatch River requires a network of habitat restoration experts, funders, and management groups. However, the most vital partners are private landowners. Most of the Potlatch watershed is privately owned and without willing landowners, this program would not succeed. IDFG personnel works directly with private landowners to access their properties to restore steelhead habitat and conduct sampling work. Fortunately, there are landowners who want to see steelhead flourish once again in the Potlatch River and are joining the effort to make a difference. 

Landownership in the Potlatch River basin

 An important part of maintaining great relationships with participating landowners is respecting their property and ensuring they benefit from the partnership as well. IDFG ensures that restoration projects always leave the landowner’s property in as good or better condition than when they started. That can include things like re-vegetating and re-grading areas that were disturbed by equipment, building and repairing fences, or even providing off-site watering opportunities for livestock. In the end, they want all partners to come away with a sense of accomplishment and pride that they were part of the project. Ultimately, with the help of private landowners, IDFG expects these projects will result in more wild steelhead returning to the Potlatch River. 

If you are interested in partnering with IDFG to conduct stream habitat restoration on your property in the Potlatch River basin, please contact Robert Hand or Brian Knoth at 208-799-5010.

For more information on habitat restoration and steelhead monitoring work in the Potlatch River, be sure to check out these related stories: