The Lake Coeur d’Alene Waterkeeper program is an on-the-water advocate working to ensure that the Lake is swimmable, fish-able and drinkable! As your Waterkeeper, we work to protect against threats to the public’s water resources in the Coeur d’Alene Lake watershed through enforcement, community action, education, restoration and advocacy.

Scientists report that declining oxygen levels may threaten the health and safety of Lake Coeur d’Alene. More than 75 million metric tons of toxic heavy metals (lead, cadmium, zinc, arsenic, antimony, copper and mercury) have been washing downstream from historic mining operations in the Upper Basin. Reduced oxygen levels increase the threat that these toxic metals, which are resting at the bottom of the lake, will become re-suspended in the water.

See a violation? Report to the Lake Coeur d’Alene Waterkeeper Pollution Hotline: (208) 667-9093

Report a Violation

Waterkeeper Pollution Report
  •   Shoreline Vegetation Clearing
      Oil Slick
      Fish/Wildlife Kill
      Hazardous Chemicals

Contact your Lake Coeur d’Alene Waterkeeper: Amy Anderson

How You Can Help Keep Lake Coeur d’Alene Clean:


 Kootenai County Planting Guide for Waterfront and Riparian Area: Non-point sources of phosphorus include eroded soils, plant matter, wildlife, pet and agricultural animal wastes, human waste, and fertilizers.  Much of these sources are naturally occurring in the watershed, but human activities on land have accelerated the loading. Vegetative shoreline buffers aid in reducing erosion, absorbing pollutants and provide vital habitat for wildlife. Unfortunately only 25% of Lake Coeur d’Alene’s shoreline remains undisturbed vegetation which contributes to warming waters, increasing erosion and phosphorus loading in the lake.

As a shoreline guardian, you have the ability to help keep Lake Coeur d’Alene fish-able, swimmable and drinkable by:

  • Keep at least 25-50 feet of natural vegetation along the shoreline to absorb pollutants and reduce erosion.
  • Pick up after your pets and use fertilizers sparingly, since everything eventually ends up in the lake.
  • Report pollution sources to the Lake Coeur d’Alene Waterkeeper Pollution Hotline: 208-667-9093.
  • Sign up for Action Alerts and Lake Health Updates by emailing us at
  •  Host a neighborhood educational event so your neighbors can have the latest information as well.
  • Utilize the Lake Coeur d’Alene Lake*A*Syst materials to learn more about being a shoreline guardian.


There are two types of pollution sources in Lake Coeur d’Alene. Point Source and Non-point Sources.

Point Sources of pollution come from pipes, like a waste water treatment plant or industrial facility, which are monitored by an EPA permit.

Non-point Sources of pollution occur over a wide area and are often associated with particular land uses. Most non-point sources (chemicals, metals and trash) get into the lake by storm water runoff from rain and snow melt which flows either directly into the lake or into storm drains that lead into the storm sewer system and then discharge directly into Coeur d’Alene Lake and the Spokane River without being treated.

What you can do:

  • Conserve water by installing low-flow appliances, replacing grass with drought resistant native shrubs, installing rain or soil moisture sensors or a hose bib timer on your sprinkler hoses.
  • Uses phosphorus free products (detergents and fertilizers).
  • Use extreme care in the type and quantity of chemicals applied to your lawn or avoid them completely; follow label instructions for use and disposal of all lawn products.
  • Place used oil/lubricants/antifreeze/paints in sealed containers and recycle them at Kootenai County facilities; don’t dump them into storm drains/ditches or on the ground.
  • Seed or sod bare ground; divert runoff from hard surfaces (drives, sidewalks, patios, roofs) onto grassy areas; install a silt barrier to prevent runoff from taking soil particles with it.
  • Have your septic system checked periodically and have it pumped every three years for best performance.



When fishing, ensure that discarded hooks and line are placed in an appropriate covered container to prevent wildlife from being injured by them. Discarded fishing line can also be cut into short pieces to prevent it from wrapping around animals and birds.

Boating and Invasive Species

Wash boats, trailers, and fishing gear between trips and after recreating (especially out of state). Many types of invasive species, like mussels and Eurasian Watermilfoil, can be spread by boats and other recreational equipment. Be sure to remove any sediments and vegetation from all recreational equipment, and always stop at boat inspection stations when transporting watercraft.


Avoid dumping waste water and urinating in the Lake.