Kootenay River

Kootenay River

High in the Rocky Mountains, the Kootenay River begins its journey, carving a route through the Rocky Mountain trench into Montana before making a wide loop through Idaho and then heading north into B.C., flowing into Kootenay Lake before draining its way into the Columbia River near Castlegar.

The river basin once formed 70 kilometers of wetland habitat, approximately 8-10 kilometers wide, from the south end of Kootenay Lake down to Washington State, providing an incredible habitat for many species of fish, birds and other wildlife, in turn sustaining the local Ktunaxa as part of their tradtional territory.

During the early 20th century, settlers to the area eventually dyked drained the majority of the valley floor, providing verdant land along the river's snaking banks that still sustain the community's thriving farming community.

Today, the deep winding Kootenay River also offers plenty of recreation opportunities from fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, and swimming with access from the Old Ferry Landing and elsewhere.

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