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Meeting planned to discuss potential Priest Lake cold-water bypass

FILE - A potential cold-water bypass in Priest Lake will be discussed at public meeting on May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Priest Lake Elementary School (28047 ID-57, Priest River, Idaho.) (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
FILE - A potential cold-water bypass in Priest Lake will be discussed at public meeting on May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Priest Lake Elementary School (28047 ID-57, Priest River, Idaho.) (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

A potential cold-water bypass in Priest Lake will be discussed at public meeting on May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Priest Lake Elementary School (28047 ID-57, Priest River, Idaho.)

The bypass proposal would pump colder water from deep in Priest Lake over the dam and into the Priest River with the aim of enhancing trout populations, according to an Idaho Fish and Game news release. Colder water would “substantially increase trout populations,” according to the release. The system has been used effectively in Michigan and Washington.

However, some worry that the bypass would impact summer recreation and the ecology of Priest Lake.

No decision has been made, however IDFG is working with an engineering firm to assess “costs and determine approaches that avoid impacts to navigation, aesthetics, or lake level management.”

Currently officials are considering withdrawing at most 5 percent of the deep, cold water layer of the lake, according to the news release.

The meeting is hosted by the Priest Lake Sportsmen’s Association. IDFG officials will be present.

Individuals with disabilities may request meeting accommodations by contacting Grant Brockus, President of the Priest Lake Sportsman’s Association at 208-443-3177; or the Idaho Relay Service at 800‑377‑2529.



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