HFF Blog

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…” 

Staff Update

More than 14 years ago, Joan Rice went to work for the Henry's Fork Foundation as a clerk. Over the years, her duties changed and she began keeping track of the finances of the growing non-profit. For the past several years, she has been an independent contractor, doing the Foundation's books and acting as human resources manager. Joan announced in November that she is retiring, and her last day on the job will be Dec. 31. You can't replace Joan. She is one of a kind, but we have hired a successor in time to allow Joan to provide some training before she leaves. Our new Finance and HR Manager  is Tim Maurer of Ashton. Tim will be starting out part-time through the end of 2014 to take advantage of training opportunities with Joan. He will start working 32 hours/week in January. Tim will be responsible for all of the duties traditionally assigned to Joan, and with Kennalee Howell leaving on a LDS mission this spring, also take on her role within the Foundation. Tim has been a valued asset as a volunteer at Henry’s Fork Day and other HFF events. He has also contracted with HFF to close out select RAC grants within the last two years. Tim brings project administration experience, attention to detail, and event management credentials to HFF after completing a career in the military and civilian service. While I am sad to have Joan depart, I am relieved and excited to be working with Tim to steward the HFF financial resources, interact with the HFF Finance Committee, and have him assist with our fundraising efforts.

HFF Influences Water-Management Discussions at State and International Levels

It has been an exciting week in the water-management world, starting with last week’s episode of 60 minutes, in which Lesley Stahl presented the global problem of groundwater decline, using California’s Central Valley as a particular example.  There, where the State has only recently taken the first small steps toward regulating groundwater pumping, the amount of water removed from the aquifer is so great that the land surface has sunk over 10 feet in many areas.

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