“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.
Before I came to intern at the Foundation, I knew I would be helping out at something called Henry's Fork Day. All I knew, was that it was an annual event, was open to any member of the Foundation, and that I needed to mow and rake a football field worth of grass up to my hips for the event. So after Thacia, Christina, Natalie and I spent almost 20 hours mowing the site for the day, I was excited to see the field come to life.
Before this summer, when I pictured Idaho I thought of three things: snow, fish, and potatoes. Now that I am here, the images I associate with these words have changed dramatically. In the seed potato capital of the nation, with top-notch fly-fishing and altitudes so high that you get tan hiking on snow, I have learned more about fisheries, agriculture, and Idaho than I could anywhere else. The welcome to Ashton sign says, "Adventure starts here," and after my first few work weeks, I believe it.