As I pass the halfway mark of my summer internship, I am more confident in my knowledge of the Henry’s Fork fishery and eager to learn more. Over the past few weeks, I have come to understand how each member of the HFF team plays a unique and vital role in the functioning of the organization. Each Monday, we have a full-staff meeting where we go around in a circle and discuss the successes and failures of the past week and what is on the plate for the coming week. I have really enjoyed participating in these meetings because they keep me informed on what is happening in the office all week while I’m out in the field. The team dynamic at HFF is one of the aspects of working here that has surprised me the most; everyone helps each other out, whether it is picking up shifts or lending one’s expertise in order to improve another’s work.
HFF’s graduate student, Jack McLaren, finished the mapping project that I have been helping him with since early June. He has spent long hours turning the sonar data we collected into a map of Island Park Reservoir. I saw his map at a presentation at the Nature Conservancy and was blown away; all of those days driving back and forth across the reservoir in the boat (which I thoroughly enjoyed) played a part in producing an incredibly useful tool that I am sure the foundation will use for years and years to come. While Jack did the vast majority of the work, seeing the product of my labor was an awesome feeling.
Other highlights of the past few weeks have included learning to drive a stick shift (thanks Tim), going to a concert in Victor with the other interns, visiting Yellowstone National Park, and learning how to fly fish. Last week, I floated Box Canyon with Jack and Jamie from HFF; they gave me lots of tips and were patient with me, and I ended up landing a fish!
My project (cataloging access points of the Henry’s Fork) is coming along, I should have all of the sites staked out by the end of the month, and after that all I have to do is put it on the website. This project has allowed me to explore the full length of the Henry’s Fork, something that I probably would not have been able to do otherwise. I hope my project will help people take advantage of all the river has to offer, because as I have come to learn, it offers a lot.
Some of the things I have to look forward to in my last month at HFF include hiking Mount Borah with the HFF staff, several barbecues and events hosted by HFF and local outfitters, and continuing to practice fly fishing. I am sad that my time out here is ticking, but excited to have one more month of exploring the area before heading home.