Linking habitat and fishing in Harriman State Park

Linking habitat and fishing in Harriman State Park

In the summer of 2013, HFF and its partners will embark on a study to find the ultimate link between the trout population and fishing experience in the famed Harriman State Park section of the Henry’s Fork.

The study will address three questions. First, what habitat types do adult rainbow trout prefer during spring and summer in Harriman State Park? Second, how does habitat selection differ throughout the spring and summer? Third, how does habitat in the Harriman reach change through spring and summer as river flows, vegetation abundance, and insect hatches change?

Using radio telemetry, adult rainbow trout will be followed throughout the season. Habitat variables like as aquatic vegetation cover, substrate type, depth, and velocity will be measured at each location where the fish are found. The amount of food in the form of drifting insects and other invertebrate prey will also be measured at each location point in order to quantify the effect that food availability has on the habitat chosen by the adult trout.

Learn more about this study in the Summer 2013 issue of the The Voice of the River.

You can be part of this ground-breaking research by sponsoring a tagged trout in the study for $500. Your sponsorship will help us raise the $40,000 needed. As a thank you, this fall we’ll send you a photo and description of your trout and a map showing where it spent the spring and summer.

Grand Valley State University biology professor Dr. Eric Snyder will direct the study, and HFF staff and interns will provide field work. Snyder has a strong connection with eastern Idaho; he earned his Ph.D. at Idaho State University, where he studied under renowned stream ecologist Dr. G. Wayne Minshall.

Contributed by Dr. Rob Van Kirk, Senior Scientist, Henry's Fork Foundation.