Recently Completed Projects

Research & Restoration Projects

The HFF research and restoration program contributes enormously to efforts aimed at improveming trout habitat. More than 100 research projects to date have provided a scientific basis for management and decision-making in the Henry's Fork watershed. The Foundation works cooperatively with federal and state agencies, academia, and nonprofit organizations to develop, fund, and complete projects.

Completed Research and Restoration Projects

These recently COMPLETED projects were undertaken or funded by the Henry’s Fork Foundation. For more information about HFF's Research and Restoration programs, please email Dr. Rob Van Kirk.

 The Economic Values of Recreational Fishing and Boating to Visitors and Communities Along the Upper Snake River

The natural beauty and outstanding recreation opportunities of the Snake River corridor from Southwestern Wyoming to Southeastern Idaho draws thousands of visitors a year. This report quantifies the economic benefits, local employment, and income effects stemming from the maintenance of Snake River ecological conditions and associated fisheries, including all its dimensions water flows, water quality, riparian vegetation as well as public access.

Improving ecological conditions and fisheries has the potential to further increase economic benefits and income and employment in this area. Through careful management, the Snake River can support traditional economies related to irrigated agriculture and hydropower generation, along with a robust recreation economy.

Download the report.


Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Status Study

The distribution, abundance, and genetic status of Yellowstone cutthroat trout (YCT, Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri) are being assessed for the Henry’s Fork, Teton, and Sinks drainages. Fisheries data from over 1,700 sampling sites within these drainages have been compiled for the years 1996 to 2009. Genetic data for YCT populations in these drainages is being used to evaluate the presence and degree of introgressive hybridization with introduced rainbow trout. YCT restoration has involved removing non-native brook trout, which compete with and replace YCT from headwater streams. YCT then are reintroduced into these streams to establish YCT only populations.

This work is being conducted by Henry’s Fork Foundation with Gregory Aquatics and in cooperation with federal and state agencies and other non-profit organizations. The project has been funded by the Jackson Hole One Fly Foundation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Conservation Partnership.

More info

Survival and movement of adult rainbow trout during winter and spring in the Henrys Fork of the Snake River

Radio telemetry was used to evaluate survival and winter movement of adult rainbow trout in the Caldera section of the Henrys Fork of the Snake River in Idaho under low and extremely low early winter flow conditions. Spring movement was also evaluated to assess whether the population estimates conducted in Box Canyon each spring represent fish from adjacent reaches of the river, and how emigration between mark and recapture periods may affect the population estimate. Survival of radio-tagged trout was nearly 100 percent during early winter under both low and extremely low flow conditions and winter movement did not differ between the two years. Few radio-tagged rainbow trout from downriver were present in the monitoring reach during the time when the population estimate is normally conducted, indicating that large fluctuations in fish numbers in downstream reaches would likely be undetected based on population estimates conducted in the monitoring area. Establishing a regular population monitoring area in downstream reaches was recommended. Emigrations from the monitoring reach between the mark and recapture period were determined to have a minimal effect on the population estimate. However, it was noted that all the radio-tagged trout that moved out of the monitoring reach during May, moved into a short section of river between the monitoring reach and Island Park Dam. Therefore, emigration could largely be accounted for by extending the monitoring reach upstream to Island Park Dam.

This project was conducted with the assistance of Gregory Aquatics with funding from the Henry’s Fork Foundation and Marine Ventures Foundation.

Download the published project report.

Sheridan Creek restoration

The goals of the Sheridan Creek Restoration Project were to restore stream hydrology, channel function, riparian and aquatic habitat, and resident and migratory fishes. Prior to the restoration work, the creek was chronically dewatered in sections because of failing irrigation diversion structures, streambanks were denuded and eroding because of cattle grazing, and fish and wildlife habitat was in poor condition. The restoration project was completed in 2006 after about ten years of work on over fifteen miles of stream that included the repair, replacement or removal of 10 irrigation diversion structures, thousands of willows planted, and miles of riparian fencing. The stream now perennially flows through a more stable and shaded channel from the Yale-Kilgore Road to Island Park Reservoir.

The restoration project was completed by a partnership of numerous state and federal agencies, the Henry’s Fork Watershed Council, Sheridan Ranch, and the Henry’s Fork Foundation.