In the middle of my second week of working for the Henry’s Fork Foundation (HFF) I find that I am different than the other interns that work here. Some of the other interns here grew up in New York or Georgia and they had to travel a great distance to discover the many wonders of the Henry’s Fork. I did the math and from the office here in Ashton, to Atlanta Georgia where fellow intern Reid Calhoun grew up, would be 1,935 miles away and would take around 28 hours of straight driving without stopping to reach the destination.
This distance is only a little greater than what I had to travel to get here. I grew up living only one mile south of the Henry’s Fork and I had to travel a great distance of around 8 miles to get to the office which takes a little over 10 minutes to drive to without stopping. The past 9 or so days that I have worked here have been about 9 days of learning. I have learned how to do many things but I think that the most important thing I have learned is that I am going to love my time here. It has only been 9 days and I already love what I do. My responsibilities for the HFF can be anywhere from collecting water quality samples to simply feeding two trout that reside in the main office of North Fremont High School here in Ashton. When doing water quality we travel from site to site all along the Henry’s Fork and we collect water samples that we will later test to see the levels of phosphorus, nitrogen, and other things contained in the water. Another responsibility that I have is to conduct Creel Surveys which help the IDFG get a better understanding of what the fishing is like along the Teton River. So if you are fishing at one of these sites and you see me there, then please take the time to take my survey. I especially like Creel Surveys because if there isn’t anybody to survey then I can tie on a few flies and throw my line in the water to see if I can “collect” some data of my own. Another thing I have enjoyed doing is cleaning out the Buffalo River Fish Ladder in Island Park. I also recently got the chance to clean out the Chester Dam Fish Ladder as well. I know that scraping off gross, wet, macrophyte out of the fish ladders doesn’t sound like a lot of fun but I actually enjoy it because it just gives me another opportunity to step out into the wilderness and to help out the river and its fish. I very much enjoy helping make the Henry’s Fork fisheries a positive place to either fish or use as any other recreational activity. Outside of the office I enjoy doing a variety of things in the outdoors. I like to go hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and pretty much whatever else you can think of that’s outside. It is probably a good thing that I like to go fly fishing a lot because 80% of this internship has to do with fly fishing or just fish in general. I also really enjoy to look at the wildlife in the area. I've already seen a couple of deer as we were driving to a water quality site and I have only worked here for 9 days. I know that I will get to see my fair share of wildlife while working for the HFF especially with the fall season approaching. Another thing I have learned is that over my 18 years of living in this area then I have taken where I live for granted. This internship has opened my eyes to see that people all over the world have come to these waters to fish and I live among it all and I don’t even realize the things that I take for granted. I have a great love for things outdoors and I am grateful for this opportunity to go out on a daily basis and be surrounded by these things.
(Harriman Fish Pond) (Bear Gulch)