Location – NexStage Theater in Ketchum
Contact Name – Chad Chorney
Contact Phone – (208) 928 – 7656
Wild steelhead and salmon are unknowingly being killed by catch and release fisherman. Last year while fly fishing the Clearwater river with friends in just one week we saw two steelhead drug up on the bank and pinned down then passed around for photos; two others were held up by the gills; and three were netted, brought into the boat where they were subdued before being passed around for photos with everyone in the boat. Those fish swam away when released so people think they’re fine but the research shows that many of those fish will die hours later.
Washington and Oregon have made changes to their regulations to emphasize proper fish handling. Tell Idaho Fish and Game they need to do the same by filling out their online Angler Input form. Act quickly because the window for public comment is only open through
the end of April March 22, 2015. Here is a suggested comment, to get you started.
Please help protect our wild steelhead and salmon by adding language to the fishing regulations to promote proper fish handling. Wild steelhead and salmon should be kept in the water and not drug up on the bank.
You can help wild steelhead and salmon by handling them with care. Don’t drag them up on the bank or bring them into the boat where they can flop around and bang their head. Keep them in the water as much as possible. For more details on how fish handling impacts mortality, see these great articles.
Thanks for your support, and remember. If they’re wild, KEEP ‘EM WET!
At the Public Lands Rally on February 12 one of the speakers was Pat Kilroy, Boise, Vice President of the Ted Trueblood Chapter. Here is what Pat had to say:
I’m here representing myself. The opinions I share are my own.
I’ve been asked to offer a perspective on this issue from a veteran’s perspective which I’m glad to do. I have two points to share.
First, the lands of the United States of America are a birthright. So, regardless of what state you call home and regardless of whether you hunt or fish they belong to all of us.
But, I believe that few groups have earned the right to enjoy those lands more than our service men and women. Those that I served with hailed from each and every state and territory: Maine, Florida and Hawaii, Puerto Rico… and others chose to serve as a means to obtain U.S. citizenship – each should have the same rights you & I have to enjoy United States lands in Idaho. Why would certain interests seek to disenfranchise them of that which they have defended? In a state as patriotic as Idaho, I don’t think that is a question that should be casually dismissed.
Which leads me to my second point. What’s the problem that needs to be solved by those seeking to wrest control of these lands from the citizens of the United States? What is not working today that needs to be fixed? In all the legislative literature and statements I’ve seen thus far, that rationale has yet to be fully and comprehensively explained.
Today’s complex problems need comprehensive solutions – and perhaps this is one of those kinds of complex problems. Idaho has both a good reputation and provides a terrific example of how Federal, State, local and individual interests (and politics) can be considered, represented and addressed: I’m referring to the Clearwater Collaborative. I’ll not comment further as there are others more qualified to speak of its many attributes and contributions like Scott Stouder. But, perhaps this is a candidate for a collaborative rather than some other political or interest group venue.
For the sixth year Idaho Trout Unlimited presents the top ten stories affecting trout, salmon and steelhead and their watersheds in Idaho. You can find the previous top ten here for 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009. There are always a lot of wild trout tales out there and we try to feature some from around the state. This year we see much good work going on at the local level.
1. The shiny object of a record Snake River Sockeye Salmon adult return in 2014 grabbed headlines and pushed out any discussion of the chronic low numbers of the Snake River spring and summer chinook salmon, which have more high quality habitat than any other Columbia River salmon run, yet are upstream of the eight Federal dams. Still lots of empty rooms in the five star hotels that the central Idaho backcountry represents to anadromous fish.
2. Idaho’s fabled Silver Creek is poised for the future thanks to completion of the Kilpatrick Pond restoration project. Check out this video:
3. Federal water managers manipulate August flows in the South Fork of the Boise River to help move sediment in the tailwater section of the South Fork downstream of Anderson Ranch Dam. The South Fork has been on the receiving end of massive amounts of sediment from post-wildfire debris flows in 2013 and 2014.
4. Restoration of the Coeur d’Alene Basin and its fish and wildlife habitat took steps forward, including completion of an important demonstration project on the Coeur d’Alene River.
5. The Bear River Narrows hydroelectric project will not go away. Opposition to this project, that includes a large cross section of society, is still organized and commenting on the idea.
6. Check out this cool video of habitat restoration of the Yankee Fork, trees being placed in the stream by chainsaw, heavy equipment and chopper! This project is a cooperative effort of many parties: Salmon-Challis National Forest, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, US Bureau of Reclamation and Trout Unlimited.
The Yankee Fork work is part of the larger efforts in the Upper Salmon River basin as described here.
8. A pure strain of native redband trout live in Dry Creek, just a few miles from Idaho State Capitol. In December the city of Boise announced a new agreement to protect the watershed and trail use, including improvement of stream crossings, all of which will help this isolated population of native trout thrive.
9. After the wildfire of 2013 near Ketchum and Hailey meant erosion and other impacts to the Big Wood River, Trout Unlimited and the Wood River Land Trust announced in 2014 an initiative to improve habitat on the Big Wood River.
10. The lower Boise River received some attention and will continue to in the future as the city of Boise updated its Master Plan for the Boise River.
August 16, 2014
Posted by John C. Ellsworth, Vice-President Idaho Council of Trout Unlimited
“Identifying Movement Patterns and Spawning Areas of Invasive Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Yellowstone Lake
Investigators Annual Report for 2013 (July 2014)”, the final report for the 2013 season of telemetry and netting on Yellowstone Lake, is now available online for automatic download here:
Additional information and a link to the above report is available here:
As you review it, you’ll realize 2013 was a successful year for suppressing lake trout and enhancing Yellowstone cutthroat trout populations, but there’s still plenty of work to be done!
Save these dates, August 2-3, 2014. The Big Wood River in Ketchum, Idaho will be the site for the inaugural Big Wood River Single Fly Event. The proceeds will help fund TU’s Big Wood River Home Rivers Initiative, and will be put to use “on the ground;” protecting, re-connecting, restoring, and sustaining the Big Wood River and its wild trout fishery. Event Schedule: Friday, August 1 – for pre-event fishing, please contact Chad Chorney; Saturday, August 2 – registration and welcome dinner begins at 6 pm; Sunday, August 3 – event fishing, lunch, awards dinner and fundraiser
For more information, please contact Chad Chorney (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nancy Bradley(email@example.com)
Download the flyer, rules and registration form.
Application deadline April 1, 2014. More information here.
It is time to crawl out of our winter hibernation. We are starting to form the agenda for our spring meeting April 12 in Sandpoint. If there is a topic to discuss or action item for the council please contact me. Council meetings are a great forum to discuss concerns that are important to local chapters.
As noted below, this is a good time to be in Sandpoint for fishing and fun times. Please consider this opportunity to explore our northern; some say “most beautiful “part of the state.
Thank you for your time,
Greetings from the north country— I have set up for rooms at the Best Western Edgewater Resort for the spring meeting- They have given a price of $68 dollars for both a room with a King and one with two queens- their number is 208-263-3194- As always you need to tell them that you are with Trout Unlimited- I told them there could be some that would want Thursday, most for Friday and Saturday- could have this rate for all plus sunday- We are still in the process of finallizing the meeting room- that info will follow- Also, for those of you that would like to do a one day float on the St. Joe or the CDA let me know so I can line up enough boats for the day- could be thursday friday, sunday or even monday if so want- This is a very good time to be fishing these two rivers- would be some midge, baetis, and possibly some sqwalla stones-All wild native westslope cutts- later my friends- loren
For the fifth year running Idaho Trout Unlimited presents the top ten stories affecting trout, salmon and steelhead and their watersheds in Idaho. You can find the previous top ten here for 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.
1. Wildfire and the after effects on blue ribbon trout streams. In August 2013 the Pony and Elk Complex fires on the Boise National Forest and adjacent BLM lands burned across the lower South Fork of the Boise River. The initial burn through the canyon and spotty along the riparian areas but a September 12 heavy rain storm led to massive landslides and flooding. The website southforkboise.org chronicles the impacts of the fire and resultant mudslides, and the initial response of dozens of volunteers and government agency professionals to begin the recovery effort. Meanwhile the Beaver Creek Fire near Ketchum had major effects on the Big Wood River and similar post-fire flooding and mudslides had its impact on the river.
2. The war on invasive lake trout continues in Yellowstone Lake, an initiative of the National Park Service, other government agencies, and a number of interest groups. In 2013 the commercial-like fishing effort resulted in a slight increase in the numbers of lake trout caught but the effort to do it went up, and this is a good sign. Meanwhile, there are efforts to suppress the lake trout population through killing the fish in the embryo stage using electrodes on the bottom of the lake in documented spawning areas. The donations from fishing groups in 2012 towards the equipment used to track lake trout have proven very useful in identifying spawning areas. More information on Yellowstone Lake efforts is available here. Meanwhile the fishing efforts on Lake Pend Oreille have knocked back the lake trout population to where the kokanee salmon are beginning to rebound, as discussed here.
3. Silver Creek restoration project begins. One of Idaho’s premier fly fishing streams is getting a major facelift with an aim to improve water temperatures. The first phase of the project is underway and more information is available at the savesilvercreek.org website.
4. Federal Judge stops dredging plans on the North Fork Clearwater River. Judge Robert Holt, with the U.S. Department of Interior, concluded that recreation opportunities like fishing and camping and the archaeological history along the North Fork of the Clearwater River deserve protection over the desires from miners who had filed at least 30 placer claims to mine gold from the stream. This section of the North Fork of the Clearwater upstream of Dworshak Reservoir is in a safer place. More information can be found here.
5. The salmon saga slogs along. In September the Federal dam agencies released a new Biological Opinion. It’s a lot like the previous ones, and the previous plans have been found wanting by Federal courts. The last three BiOps have been found in violation of the Endangered Species Act and have been inadequate to protect and restore the Snake River salmon and steelhead runs. This is nothing new as the litigation dates back twenty years. In fact 2013 is the twenty year anniversary when the state of Idaho and Governor Cecil Andrus sued that the Federal government treatment of salmon violated the Endangered Species Act. In 2014 we will commemorate the twenty year anniversary of Andrus winning that lawsuit. Yes the new plan is like the old plans. Yet there seems a glimmer of hope near end of this year as outlined in a recent report that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) asked the Ruckelshaus Center – in partnership with Oregon Consensus at Portland State University – to conduct. These parties completed a situation assessment of regional views about salmon and steelhead recovery planning in the Columbia River Basin over the long term. And maybe in 2014 we can begin to see some progress on a roundtable to discuss recovery of the salmon and steelhead runs that migrate from Idaho to the Pacific Ocean and back.
6. The Upper Blackfoot River Initiative for Conservation completed projects on the upper Blackfoot River, including a fish population study. Then, through effective outreach, the partners worked with local irrigators to restore upstream fish passage and install fish screens at two irrigation diversions on Lanes and Diamond creeks. The two diversion modifications include one on Diamond Creek and one on Lanes Creek, where the outgoing ditches on both diversions were screened. New measurement weirs on outgoing ditches to aid landowners in measuring flow were installed. This work opened up 25-30 miles of new upstream habitat. The projects reconnect critical spawning and rearing habitat for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the Blackfoot watershed.
7. Discussion about a proposed National Monument for the White Clouds mountains took off in spring 2013 and many interest groups are weighing in with opinions. To date the discussions have not emphasized the fishery values in the area, one that contains the headwaters of the main Salmon River, the East Fork of the Salmon and the Big Wood River. While the debate and discussion of National Monument designation unfolds in 2014 it is worth noting that stream restoration work has moved forward in this area, for example the reconnection of portions of Pole Creek, and more opportunities exist in these watersheds. One question worth exploring in 2014 is how National Monument designation could help or hinder fishery restoration work in the area?
8. The Big Wood Home Rivers Initiative seeks to take advantage of a supportive local angling community and our long history of restoration success to restore the full wild trout potential of the Big Wood. Our objective is to both restore fish populations and the habitat they need, and to educate landowners that live along the banks of the river and its tributaries about how to protect and steward those unique resources. Home Rivers Initiatives are national programs that place a full-time staff member in a watershed to live and work with and within the local community and bring TU’s scientific, policy, grassroots and legal expertise to bear on watershed- scale restoration and protection.
As is common to all of TU’s conservation work we do not hope to accomplish our goals alone. The list of project partners is long and growing. These partners in the Wood River Valley include; Idaho Fish and Game, The Nature Conservancy, The Wood River Land Trust, Hemingway Chapter of TU , Silver Creek Outfitters, private landowners and Idaho Department of Water Resources .
9. The Owyhee Basin Redband Trout Restoration project is working to ensure that this special river provides redband populations with the necessary protections so that they continue to persist in the Owyhee Basin as the climate changes. Trout Unlimited’s Science Team recently assessed the habitat and vegetation across the Owyhee Basin, which identifies places where fish need the most help and where TU can apply its expertise to restore these areas. We’re using that analysis to do on-the-ground restoration to protect these fish so that they can move within the river and establish themselves and remain viable. Working with federal and state agencies and private landowners, TU is focusing on protecting coldwater springs, which provide important summer refuge areas for redband trout. We’re also planting native plants and keeping livestock out of streams to improve river conditions. We’re also helping to rejoin areas of the river so isolated redband populations can have improved access to habitat.
10. Lower Boise River restoration initiative will benefit from the announced funding of a grant to the Ted Trueblood Chapter and other organizations to establish the Boise River Enhancement Network. This network will build on the work done to date where the Ted Trueblood Chapter has pioneered working with landowners along the lower Boise River to improve aquatic habitat to improve the unique urban fishery in Idaho’s highest populated area. More information is available at the Boise River Enhancement Network website.