Koocanusa Lake

Lake Pic 1
Lake Koocanusa is a boater's paradise. Uncrowded calm waters in an incredible setting. Enjoy superb rocky mountain scenery, warm, clean water and fantastic sand beaches. Offering over 200 hundred Kilometers of shoreline with many secluded mooring sites.

Hiking and biking trails for that casual excursion or formidable challenge are very accessible from the lake. Within an hour of the lake additional recreational areas around Fernie, Cranbrook and Kimberley can all be easily reached to ensure a full four-season recreational resort location.

The 198 km long Lake Koocanusa reservoir is held back by a 422 foot tall Libby Dam, located 16 miles upstream from the town of Libby, Montana. The dam provides flood protection to the surrounding valleys and hydroelectric power to the western states. The lake offers a multitude of recreational opportunities including boating, fishing, and lakeshore camping and picnicking. The lake starts at the town of Wardner where during the summer the lake floods up the valley from 5 km downstream as the headwaters of the Kootenay River flow in with the winter meltdown. Lake Koocanusa was completed in 1972 as a joint project between the United States and Canada in an effort to provide flood protection and to generate hydroelectric power. Lake Koocanusa received its name in a contest to name the Libby Dam reservoir. Alice Beers, from Rexford, Montana, combined the first three letters from Kootenai River, and the first three letters of Canada and USA.

Lake Koocanusa is home to a variety of fish species. Sport fish include rainbow trout, west slope cutthroat, brook trout, kokanee salmon (blueback), burbot (ling), whitefish and Kamloops (a strain of rainbow trout). The lake has a maximum depth of 370 feet. A valid fishing license is required to fish any waters.