Status: In Progress


The Snyihms he mulshu’lmkhw (Swimmer’s Landing among the Cottonwoods) project is in Hepton Lake, which is in the St. Joe River Subbasin in northern Idaho within the Coeur d’Alene Tribe Reservation boundary.


Hepton Lake is a 1,180-acre lake that was formed in 1996 when the levee along the St. Joe River breached and water poured into the adjacent farm field. After the breach, the property was placed in a wetland reserve easement through the Natural Resource Conservation Service and purchased by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.


The Coeur d’Alene Tribe will design a breach control structure system to allow water to flow into the valley area during spring runoff and flow out during summer and fall months. This system will increase separation of the warm water fishery in Hepton Lake from the cold water fishery in the St Joe River. The project will also include construction of wetlands within the lake’s existing footprint to provide habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. The Tribe will plant native vegetation, such as willow, cottonwood, water potato, alder, and wetland grasses, which are significant to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.


The project will restore the valley closer to the natural wetland habitats on the site. This restored habitat will benefit waterfowl, wildlife, and essential wetland ecosystem functions like water storage. The project will also establish plant species of cultural significance to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, which will restore the ability to use those resources and interact with the landscape in traditional ways.


Coeur d’Alene Tribe
Hazardous Waste Management Program
424 Sherman Ave., Suite 306
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 667-5772


Coeur d’Alene Tribe

The Hepton Lake site along the St. Joe River.

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