The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reassess a permit that they issued in 2019 for a proposed marina and condominium complex at the mouth of Trestle Creek on Lake Pend Oreille. This is an area designated as critical habitat for bull trout.
The proposed marina is a project of the Idaho Club, which owns and operates a golf course and housing development nearby on the lower Pack River. The plan calls for the construction of 124 boat slips and five condominiums. It would require excavation of an island and peninsula, and remove 14,000 cubic yards of material from the lake and mouth of the creek.
Many area residents cherish Trestle Creek and its fisheries. It’s one of the few places where people can take their kids in the fall and easily observe spawning bull trout and kokanee.
The Idaho Conservation League, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper, and Center for Biological diversity threatened to sue the Corps and USFWS for failing to consider new information regarding the declining status of bull trout when the permit was approved. The USFWS responded by contacting the Corps and requesting that they revisit the permit and the potential environmental impacts of the proposed development.
The Corps has not yet made any official decision but did indicate that it will “evaluate the [Fish and Wildlife Service’s] request.” Stay tuned for updates.