Lake Koocanusa

This transboundary reservoir fills and flushes according to demand for power at Libby Dam and the downstream needs of endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon. The name of this 90-mile (145-kilometer)-long impoundment is an amalgam of Kootenay, Canada, and USA.

On the south end of Lake Koocanusa is Libby Dam. Visit the interactive exhibits in the visitor center, picnic, go camping or fishing. Tours of Libby Dam are available daily during summer months and by appointment year-round. The Army Corps of Engineers operates the dam and visitor center, as well as four campgrounds and five recreation areas with boat ramps along the reservoir.

One of the unique features of Libby Dam is a 75-ton granite sculpture found on the face of the Treaty Tower, the largest tower on the dam. This sculpture was part of an international competition held during construction commemorating the Columbia River Treaty, which allowed for the construction of Libby Dam.

Read more

Location

Collapse
Nearby
Latitude: 49.2561531 Longitude: -115.269928 Elevation: 2411 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Karen Cook

Access to Lake or River

Paved Road

Fishing Highlights

The best fishing is between mid-June and August when the reservoir level is up. The lake produces some large bull trout to 4 kg (9 lbs) and spincasting a Red Devil lure is effective at the creek mouths. Sportfishing for small kokanee and cutthroat up to 1.5 kg (3 lbs) or larger is very popular.

Paddling Highlights

Lake Koocanusa boasts over 400 kilometres (250 mi) of accessible shoreline composed of sandy beaches, bays, secluded coves and points of interest, so boats of all sizes are used on this lake. Houseboating is especially popular on Lake Koocanusa.

Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark

British Columbia: From the east, turn off Highway #3, 3 km west of the Highway #3/93 junction at Elko. The Kikomun Creek Provincial Park entrance is 8 km (5 mi) to the west. You may continue on Kikomun-Newgate Road past the park, cross the lake - there are access points to the lake from this road and also some Recreation Sites.

Montana: From Eureka, go west on Highway 37 from the Hwy. 93 junction on the north side of Eureka.

In Libby, follow California/Hwy. 37 North through downtown and the bridge across the Kootenai River. Continue following Hwy. 37 to Libby Dam.

Boat Access Locations

On the Montana side, there are multiple access points between Libby and Eureka. 

On the BC side, the main access point is the paved boat launch at Kikomun Creek Provincial Park. From the east, turn off Highway #3, 3 km west of the Highway #3/93 junction at Elko. The Park entrance is 8 km (5 mi) to the west. From the west, turn off Highway #3 at Jaffray, and the park is 16 km (10 mi) south.

Fishing Access Highlights

From the east, turn off Highway #3, 3 km west of the Highway #3/93 junction at Elko. The Kikomun Creek Provincial Park entrance is 8 km (5 mi) to the west. You may continue on Kikomun-Newgate Road past the park, cross the lake - there are access points to the lake from this road and also some Recreation Sites.

Leave a Comment

Submit