HFF Blog

A Warm Winter

 

It’s no secret that 2018 has been much warmer than we’re used to (in January, 5°F warmer than normal across the whole watershed and as high as 7°F above average in Island Park). At the same time, HFF has been reporting SWE (snow-water equivalent) numbers at 96% of average at the end of January (as high as 103% of average this past week), above average streamflow, and near average precipitation across the watershed (not to mention 111% of average Jan. precipitation at Island Park). If you’re looking out your window in Island Park right now, you’re probably wondering, “How is that possible?”

Water Supply Outlook Improves in January

Photo of Rainbow Trout.
  • Over the month of January, water-year precipitation increased from 87% of average to 93% of average, and snow-water-equivalent increased from 89% of average to 96% of average.
  • Streamflow throughout the watershed was generally above average, including outflow from Island Park Reservoir, which, at 508 cfs, was 134% of average and the highest since the winter of 2011-2012.
  • The only negative aspect of the current water situation is that January was much warmer than average, limiting snow accumulation at lower elevations and setting up the snowpack to melt early and rapidly.

HFF's Top 10 -- 2017

 

At the end of each year, HFF takes a moment to reflect on all that was accomplished and all the great things we were a part of. To keep the tradition going, HFF is taking a look back at the "Top-10" programmatic accomplishments of 2017. You can also take a look back at HFF's Top 10 for 2014, 2015, and 2016.

 

HFF's Top 10 -- 2017

10. Total Solar Eclipse

9. State-wide summit comes to Ashton

8. Science program represented at three professional meetings and other local, regional, and national venues

7. Mike Beus and Dale Swensen retire after a combined 70 years in water management

6. Creel and Economic Value Survey conducted on the Henry's Fork and Fall River

5. Harriman Canal Restoration Project - Phase 1 Complete

4. Record year for Youth on the Fly

3. Sonde automation moved from concept to successful testing

2. Your new Community Campus

1. Celebrating a good water year

New Year Starts with Good Water Supply

Photo of Rainbow Trout.

December precipitation was only 51% of average across the Henry's Fork watershed. However, water year-to-date precipitation and snow-water-equivalent are at 87% and 89% of average, respectively. And, thanks to above-average precipitation during water year 2017, the upper Snake River reservoir system is 87% full, and winter streamflow is above average. Long-range forecasts call for average to above-average precipitation for the remainder of the winter, so the overall water-supply outlook remains good as we head into the New Year.

Fish of the Month: Year Three

Photo of Rainbow Trout.

Each of the last two years at this time, I have reported on the resurrection of “fish of the month,” a tradition that Henry’s Fork Anglers guide Tom Grimes and I started many years ago. The goal is to catch at least one wild trout every month of the year, on a fly, in our local Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming waters. My longest fish-of-the-month streak lasted 55 months, from July 2004 through January 2009. On December 4, I added month 36 to the current streak.

Safeguarding Idaho’s Economy in a Changing Climate summit held at Henrys’ Fork Foundation Community Campus

Earlier in November, the Henry’s Fork Watershed Council hosted a satellite location of Safeguarding Idaho’s Economy in a Changing Climate, a two-day a summit held November 16th and 17th. Invited speakers represented a broad sample of private businesses, public agencies, tribes, and NGOs in Idaho from Simplot and HP to the EPA and Idaho Dept. of Lands to Trout Unlimited. See the complete list of speakers here.

Water Year 2018 off to a Good Start

Photo of Rainbow Trout.

Six weeks into the new water year, most measures of water supply in the Henry's Fork watershed are average or better:

  1. Snow accumulation in the mountains is well above average for early November.
  2. Watershed-wide natural flow has been above average since October 1.
  3. Island Park Reservoir is already at its April-1 average content.
  4. Medium- and long-term weather forecasts call for above-average precipitation.

HFF Community Campus -- Then and Now Photo Tour

The Henry's Fork Foundation Community Campus

 

The Henry’s Fork Foundation (HFF) officially moved its offices into the new HFF Community Campus in August, but this community project has been more than three years in the making! This building at 801 Main Street was originally built as the Ashton Hospital in 1950. In 1988, the hospital was converted into a nursing home and a few years later became storage units when the new senior living center was built across town. The building remained, used for storage, until June of 2016 when it was purchased by HFF as our new community campus. 

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