State Protected Rivers

As part of the Comprehensive State Water Plan process, the Idaho Water Resource Board can designate river segments with outstanding fish and wildlife, recreational, aesthetic, or geologic value as a State Protected River.


If the Board decides that the values of preserving an outstanding waterway in its existing condition outweigh the values of continued development, it can, subject to legislative approval, designate that waterway either a Natural or Recreational River to protect existing resources and use. Designation may prohibit the following:

  • Construction or expansion of dams or impoundments
  • Construction of hydropower projects
  • Construction of water diversion works
  • Dredge or placer mining
  • Alterations of the stream bed
  • Mineral, sand, or gravel extraction within the stream bed

Over 2,745 miles of Idaho's rivers are protected by the State.




For More Information:

View Details about protection for individual streams:

View Protections by Stream