HFF Blog

Teasers from our 2014 Angler Attitude Survey

As most of you know, HFF conducted a survey of anglers in Harriman State Park (“the Ranch”) in 2014. The survey was identical to one conducted back in 2008, for direct comparison of angler attitudes and experiences between the two years. In 2008, the (new, improved) Buffalo River fish ladder and the Island Park Drought Management Planning process were each only two years old and so had not had time to fully affect the population of rainbow trout available to anglers. By 2014, two full fish generations had passed since implementation of these two major fishery improvement projects, and we went back to see whether anglers had noticed any difference in the fishing.

Water Supply Update

On Friday afternoon, just as I started writing my blog, I received a phone call from Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) staff in Boise. The purpose of the call was to alert me that water-supply and administrative conditions were aligning to allow diversion of water upstream of American Falls Reservoir for aquifer recharge. That prompted me drop what I was starting to write and instead revisit the water-supply situation, which I last did on January 7. So, how are we doing five weeks later?

Effects of Island Park Reservoir on Sediment and Phosphorus Transport

This week I attended Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's annual Water Quality Monitoring workshop in Boise.  This was the workshop's 25th year, although it was my first time attending. HFF was invited to participate because of the large amount of water quality data we are now collecting and analyzing. This week's blog consists of my presentation at that workshop.

Here is a link to the powerpoint slides. The following text explains each slide.

What causes flow fluctuations at Ashton Dam? HFF solves long-standing mystery.

Graphs of river stage at five locations on Henry's Fork.
Graph of river stage above and below Ashton Reservoir.
Graphs of river stage above and below Ashton Reservoir; close-up.

For many years, outfitters and guides, anglers, and irrigation managers have inquired about the causes of daily fluctuations in streamflow in the Henry’s Fork downstream of Ashton Dam. These fluctuations are large enough to be noticed by anglers while they are out on the river and large enough to cause canal diversion rates to vary throughout the day. Although fluctuations occur year-round, they are highest in amplitude and have the greatest effect on fishing, river ecology, and irrigation operations during the late summer and early fall.

HFF’s “to-do” list hits high point

From the outside, it would appear that HFF’s busiest time of year is the month or two leading up to and surrounding Henry’s Fork Day in June. But, I’m going to make the case here that the next six or eight weeks are in fact the busiest of the year when averaged over the entire HFF team. If nothing else, this week’s blog will give you a good idea of the breadth of our work.

HFF members travel the world to learn more about HFF and the Henry's Fork

Bill H. Jack
Gary G. Snook
Lee K. Bonefish
Tom D. Baracuda
Mike L. Bonefish
Relaxing at Pesca Maya
Dave L. with Brown at Lago Fonck
J.P. H. Rainbow
HFF group at Rio Manso

December 2014 and January 2015 found HFF Board Members, staff, and members traveling to Mexico and Argentina to make Henry’s Fork connections! These HFF hosted trips were months to years in the making and are the result of symbiotic relationships that HFF has developed with partners across the globe.

Research, Monitoring, and Science: What’s the difference?

A few blogs ago I discussed the words “collaboration”, “sustainability”, and “planning” in the context of HFF’s work. This week I’ll take on three more words: “research”, “monitoring,” and “science.”

Summary

For those of you who, understandably, don’t have time or desire to read the whole blog, here are the take-home messages.

  • Science requires 1) identification of a problem, 2) collection of data, and 3) formulation and testing of hypotheses.
  • Research and monitoring activities related to natural resources frequently fail to constitute science because they lack testing of hypotheses.
  • Key steps in hypothesis-testing are review of scientific literature, formulation of testable hypotheses, selection of statistical methods, design of data-collection based on the statistical methods, and use of mathematical and computational tools to conduct the hypothesis tests.
  • The peer-reviewed scientific literature is the basis for advancement of scientific knowledge and for the application of science in decision making.
  • HFF strives to conduct science and to publish that science in peer-reviewed journals.

Read on if you want the details!

Rob’s Top-10 HFF Programmatic Accomplishments of 2014

My top-10 list is limited to items from our programmatic work (research and restoration, stewardship, and education) and so does not include other notable HFF events and accomplishments such as four record-breaking fundraising receptions, the 30th Anniversary edition of Henry’s Fork Day, and a special appearance by “The Voice of the River” at the North Fremont Education Foundation talent show and auction. These are all important events and accomplishments that make our programmatic work possible. 

Collaboration, sustainability, and planning: empty words or meaningful actions?

I started out the morning thinking that I would replace the usual blog entry this week with a “fishy” version of “The Night Before Christmas”—you know, “Twas the night before Christmas, in the river, throughout, not a creature was stirring, not even a trout. The stockingfoot waders had been hung with care, but many with holes were in need of repair…” 

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