Intern Blog

Life on the River

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 1:28pm

Author: 

Taylor

The girls in front of Millionaires 
Determined to live out west, I interned last summer in Bozeman, MT and (as expected) fell in love with the Northern Rockies.  Now, a year later, my internship with the Henry’s Fork Foundation (HFF) has taken me back to the area I love so much. 
Although I gained an appreciation for the fly fishing culture last summer, nothing prepared me for the fly fishing scene at the Henry’s Fork.  This 127 mile long tributary of the Snake River is prized for its superb fishing, especially dry fly fishing. Anglers are drawn here from around the world with the goal of hooking and landing one of the Henry’s Fork prized trout.
Humming to snails gets them to come out of their shell!
As the only organization solely devoted to preserving the Henry’s Fork, HFF interns are always busy.  There are two main projects going on:  a habitat study and an angler satisfaction study.   A grad student from Grand Valley State, Zack Kuzniar, is researching which habitat rainbow trout prefer, and all six interns are helping him out.  Prior to the start of my internship, over 40 fish were tagged with radio trackers.  We then spend the rest of the summer tracking this fish to see which habitat they prefer to live in.  Zach walks around the riverbank with a radiotelemetry reader to try and pick up the signals from the tagged fish.  Two interns follow him carrying all of the supplies needed to survey the habitat.  Once Zach locates a fish, we examine what the habitat is like by looking at factors such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, depth, water velocity, substrate size, and macrophyte growth.  By the end of this summer, Zach will know what factors these rainbow trout favor.
The angler satisfaction study is the other main project the interns are undertaking this summer.  The goal of this study is to let the anglers voice their opinions regarding the condition of the Henry’s Fork.  Every day, two interns drive to several access points and interview the anglers as they follow him carrying all of the supplies needed to survey the habitat.  Once Zach locates a fish, we examine what the habitat is like by looking at factors such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, depth, water velocity, substrate size, and macrophyte growth.  By the end of this summer, Zach will know what factors these rainbow trout favor.
Working on the Buffalo Fish Ladder


When we are not working, HFF interns spend their free time discovering what makes Idaho so special and enjoying the fresh mountain air.  As an avid rock climber, hiker, and cyclist, most of my free time is spent exploring the nearby mountain ranges and open roads.  Although I have seen so much, its hard to believe that I only have four weeks left here.  There are still so many items left on my to-do list!








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