To support our water quality monitoring efforts, we have a new quick reference poster in the office! For now, the poster displays the recent, daily range of dissolved oxygen (averaged over the previous 4 days) and the weekly average temperature from our sampling/sonde sites. We have seven sites that we capture data from; I download data from 3 of the sondes one week, then retrieve data from the remaining 4 sondes the following week. Therefore half of the displayed data are from the previous week, and the other half of the site data are two weeks old.
A few months ago I was contacted by Michael Downey, a water resources planner in Montana's Department of Natural Resources Conservation (DNRC). He had read about a study I directed a few years ago that investigated the effects of development on hydrology and water management in the Henry's Fork watershed and invited me to come talk about this study--and more generally about groundwater management in Idaho--at a day-long technical workshop in Helena. I just returned from that workshop and thought it relevant to share both my presentation and a few interesting observations with you.
On October 7th, HFF worked with partners from Fall River Rural Electric and the U.S. Forest Service to remove the outmigrant trap that was part of our Buffalo River project. The decision to remove the trap was made jointly by HFF, Fall River Rural Electric, U.S. Forest Service, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game, after reviewing data collected at the downstream trap since 2009. Through the trap’s operation, we have learned that many thousands of young rainbow trout migrate downstream out of the Buffalo River each spring.
"10 and 2, 10 and 2, think of it like a pie!" This was my first piece of advice, and what my first lesson of fly fishing consisted of. I had no idea what that meant, or why I was doing it...but somehow it seemed to work. I was finally out on the river, experiencing the beauty of fly fishing. I now felt what the avid fishermen felt. I was feeling that thrill and tranquility, and I was officially "hooked" on to the sport. However, that feeling was not there the first day. I was very frustrated at myself because I could not get the hang of the techniques.
This presentation was given on Wednesday, September 23rd at the Guides and Outfitters End-of-Season Gathering at Pond’s Lodge. HFF’s research and restoration team presented a large amount of data, and for those who were unable to make it, who want to dig in to the graphs a little more, or are just generally interested in what the Foundation has been working on in terms of analyzing water quantity and water quality, here is a link to the slides, in pdf format.
As the summer transitions into fall and I transition titles within the Foundation, I would like to share some of my summer highlights. My internship with the Henry’s Fork Foundation is one of my proudest achievements – not only because of the work I have contributed to, but also for the amazing opportunities I have had to explore the local landscape and engage with the local culture. Here is a glimpse into the fun the intern crew had outside of work this summer:
Before I leave to speak at the national American Fisheries Society annual meeting in Portland next week, I thought I would provide links to several technical documents to keep you informed entertained for a while.
Wild trout need water of appropriate quantity and quality. Quantity and quality of water released from Island Park Reservoir during June and July of 2015 continue to be the subject of much discussion and concern, particularly following release of around 2,000 cfs July 21-23 to provide flow to test turbines at the Chester Dam hydroelectric project. This blog just covers water quantity, specifically flow releases from Island Park Reservoir.
“There are supposed to be fish in there?" I remember asking incredulously as we arrived at Badger Creek. Usually, our task is to bushwhack to a remote stream to analyze its trout population. However, this morning, our task was a little different. We drove towards Badger Creek where we heard there was a puddle, not much larger than a queen size bed, where fish were struggling. In this environment, with shallow waters, high temperatures and too little oxygen for vegetation, we could not imagine we would have much luck finding fish.