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Idaho Trout Newsletters 2000 – 2003

Note: We have transcripts from newsletters from Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Summer 2001 and Spring 2003 on this single page below. Other newsletters from the old days will eventually be scanned and added to the website.

IDAHO STATE COUNCIL TROUT UNLIMITED NEWSLETTER

IDAHO TU’s NEWSLETTERS


SPRING 2003

SUMMER 2001

FALL 2000

SPRING 2000

 

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IDAHO TROUT

Newsletter of the Idaho
State Council of Trout Unlimited.
..

. May 2003

P.O.
Box 1971Boise, Idaho
83701–
www.idahotu.org

 

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South Fork Snake River Initiative Update



 

In the late 1990s, TU’s Snake River
Cutthroats Chapter in
Idaho Falls and the Idaho Council began lobbying TU’s
national office and the Coldwater Conservation Fund to make the South Fork a
“Home Rivers” project. As such the South Fork would join the Beaverkill, Kickapoo and Kettle
Creek, and later the
Jefferson, as rivers where TU focuses significant financial and staffing
resources to implement watershed-scale, science-based projects to conserve the
fishery.

 

In 2001, with lead support from the National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation and Mark Rockefeller, TU launched the project by hiring Matt Woodard
as project manager and relocating Western native fish policy expert Scott
Yates, to
Idaho to supervise. In early 2002, the Jackson Hole One Fly Foundation
committed $50,000 for habitat restoration. The Snake River Cutthroats and
Panhandle chapters, the Idaho Council, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Idaho
Fish and Wildlife Foundation also committed funds.

 

The South Fork Project encompasses five areas:

 

1. Work with the state and federal agencies to develop a
coordinated, comprehensive fishery research program to identify what threatens
South Fork native cutthroat populations and make recommendations for
restoration and management actions.

 

2. Assist ongoing state and federal efforts to protect cutthroat
spawning and discourage rainbow competition and hybridization.

 

3. Identify tributary habitat problems, develop restoration plans,
and work with private landowners and the agencies to implement the projects.

 

4. Reevaluate the operations of the Palisades Dam to improve
flows, maximize cutthroat spawning and rearing opportunities, and ensure that
agricultural interests get the water they need.

 

5. Develop a long-term Yellowstone cutthroat conservation strategy that will be used to build local,
regional and national support for long-term conservation of the South Fork and
its fishery.

 

“This is a big watershed, and the problems are very complex,” said
Woodard. “We want to make sure that the science supports our proposed course of
action and that we have broad public support, from the state and federal
managers to anglers and farmers in the basin.”

 

Already, restoration projects have been identified on three South
Fork tributaries, with the work to occur this year. On Palisades Dam, the
Bureau of Reclamation has committed to maintain minimum winter flows at 1,050 cfs for 2002-2003, the same level as in 2001-2002. While
this is far below optimum flow levels, it is far more than what some
agricultural interests had demanded.

 

To learn more or make a
donation, contact Whit Fosburgh at wfosburgh@tu.org
or Scott Yates at syates@tu.org.

 

TU Supported
Cutthroat Trout License Plate Goes on
Sale

 

A trophy cutthroat
trout can be yours for the catching!All
you have to do is “cast” yourself down to your county motor vehicles
office.This year the cutthroat license
plate became the newest wildlife plate choice for avid anglers and outdoor
lovers.



Trout Unlimited first called for
a trout license plate in 1999.We worked
with the IFWF and Idaho Fish and Game in 2002, and thanks to the influence of
IFWF the license plate idea became a reality. Where will proceeds from the
cutthroat plate go?The legislation directs
the funds will go to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and to the nongame set-aside account that holds the funds from the
wildlife license plate (bluebird and elk) sales and renewals.A small amount of each plate — $2.50 from
the initial plate fee and $1.25 from each renewal — will go the Idaho
Department of Parks and Recreation for construction and maintenance of nonmotorized boating access facilities for anglers.

The
nongame program is funded almost exclusively by
donations and wildlife license plates sales. It is responsible for managing and
conserving
Idaho‘s 470 nongame
species.

 

“The
money is used to conduct surveys and monitoring programs to better understand
the current status and trends of nongame
species,” says Acting Nongame Program Manager
Charles Harris.”Examples include
annual breeding bird survey routes, as well as bat, reptile and amphibian
surveys.”

 

Idaho
Fish and Game also agreed to a request from Idaho TU to increase efforts in
riparian habitat restoration as part of the nongame
species program.Both native fish and nongame species will benefit from restoration of riparian
areas.

 

This
new license plate represents an excellent opportunity for Trout Unlimited
members to display their interest in the protection of
Idaho‘s state fish.Making a statement for native fish on our
vehicles is one small gesture that can pay dividends as the funds are used to
improve habitat.Sportsmen and women who
buy wildlife plates in addition to their hunting and fishing licenses and tags
are contributing to all of
Idaho‘s wildlife.Please do your part.

 

 

TU Home
Rivers Initiative 2003 Field Season Projects

 

It should be a busy field season for Matt
Woodard and the TU South Fork Snake River Home Rivers Initiative.Three habitat restoration projects are slated
for implementation, and hopefully one or two may even be complete by the end of
the year.Pritchard Creek and Fall Creek
are South Fork tributaries separated by only a small mountain divide.The Pritchard Creek Project entails channel
restoration and riparian re-vegetation components to improve habitat conditions
along a stretch of the stream formerly inundated by a small dam that blew out
in the late 1980s.Along East Fork Falls
Creek, TU is partnering with the Forest Service and permittees
to fence over seven miles of the stream to exclude cattle.

 

Our summer activities will also include
working with a
ConantValley ranch owner to restore Garden
Creek.This is a massive multi-year
stream restoration project that will hopefully include irrigation efficiency,
stream channel reconstruction, riparian restoration, and new culvert design
activities to ensure that South Fork cutthroats are once again able to access
spawning and rearing habitat in Garden Creek.

 

Each of these projects is designed to
bolster the South Fork’s native
Yellowstone cutthroat populations.
Further, TU volunteers will be needed for various parts of the
projects.Please call Matt Woodard in
the TU Idaho Falls Office –
(208) 552-0887; mwoodard@tu.org
– with any questions or comments regarding volunteer opportunities during 2003.

 

 

Trout Unlimited Kicks Off Idaho Stream Flow Protection and Restoration
Program

National
Trout Unlimited recently announced that the organization will develop an
Idaho-focused program to protect and restore stream flows in Idaho.The Idaho Water Office will be based in Idaho
Falls, and is part of a larger Trout Unlimited program
dedicated to developing innovative and long-term solutions to longstanding
water resource dilemmas that impact native and wild trout fisheries in the
West.The Idaho Office is the latest
addition to a west-wide program that already has offices in Montana,
Wyoming, Colorado,
and Utah.

Taking into
account the ordinarily sensitive and sometimes volatile political climate
surrounding water issues in Idaho
and TU’s penchant for working with resource agencies
and landowners, the stream flow protection efforts will be geared towards
collaborative partnerships and ground-based approaches to reducing fishery
impacts.TU is currently exploring
various opportunities to improve fishery flows and partnering with federal and
state resource agencies, landowners, and local irrigators in the Henry’s Fork,
Upper Salmon, and Big and Little Lost drainages.Further, TU water program efforts should
dovetail nicely with on-going activities in the South Fork Snake River that
meld habitat restoration, flow improvements, and cooperation with land, farm,
and ranch owners to better protect native Yellowstone
cutthroat populations.

Initiated in
December 2003, the TU program is just getting off the ground.For additional information regarding TU
efforts, contact Scott Yates in Idaho Falls
– 208-552-0891
syates@tu.org.

 

 

 

A Break for Bear River Bonneville Cutts

 



Bonneville
cutthroat trout in the
Bear
River
drainage
have received a reprieve from some of the historical impacts of PacifiCorp’s
Soda, Grace/Cove, and
Oneida hydroelectric projects in southeast Idaho. TU, along with PacifiCorp, federal and
state agencies, and other conservation and whitewater boating groups, have
signed a settlement agreement to guide hydro operations at the three projects
for the next 30 years.

 

The
agreement resulted from eight months of negotiations among the utility,
agencies, and conservationists. Trout Unlimited members in northern Utah led TU’s initial participation in the relicensing
process, and Utah member, Ken Theis and Idaho member,
Rob Gregoire were integral to the subsequent
negotiation process.

 

“We’re
excited to be a part of the long-term solution in terms of solving the myriad
natural resource dilemmas that face the
Bear River system,” said Retallic,
chairman of TU’s Idaho Council. “We also realize that
while elements of the agreement constitute a positive step, they are only part
of what needs to be a broader effort to restore the degraded river system.”

 

The
settlement agreement contains provisions that provide—for the first time in the
projects’ history—minimum flows and fewer hydropower-caused flow fluctuations
in certain mainstem river reaches so that fish are better protected. Further,
the core of the agreement provides for the development of a long-term
Bonneville cutthroat trout conservation strategy for the project area.Funding mechanisms are included to protect
and restore habitat, purchase land and water, and develop an innovative
hatchery program to emphasize the reintroduction and restoration of native
trout. Over $16 million will be dedicated to Bonneville cutthroat trout
restoration during the next license term.

 

“We’re
not happy with all the provisions in the agreement, but TU members are ready to
roll up our sleeves and work with PacifiCorp, agencies, and other stakeholders
to ensure that native trout in the Bear River system are allowed to survive,
recover, and eventually flourish,” said Wes Johnson, chairman of TU’s Utah Council.—Scott
Yates, Director, TU’s Western Native Trout
Program.Contact Scott at
(208) 552-0891;
syates@tu.org.

 

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IDAHOSNOW FACTS

 

Melting snow produces more than
75 percent of Idaho’s water. The
other 25 percent comes from spring and summer rains.

The National Resources
Conservation Service uses 78 automated SNOTEL stations and 100 manually measured
snow courses to collect snow information and its water content.The oldest sites began monitoring in the
1990s in Yellowstone National
Park and northern Idaho.

Some more tidbits:

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>The amount of new snowfall it takes to equal 1
inch of water is about 10 inches.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Deepest snow ever measured in Idaho
was 23.5 feet at Lost Lake
in Shoshone County
on April 1, 1974.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>The greatest amount of water ever measured in an
Idaho snowpack
was 9.75 feet at Bear Mountain in Bonner
County on May 1, 1974.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Idaho’s
two snowiest places, receiving more than 50 feet of snow each year, are Bear
Mountain in Bonner County
and Lost Lake
in ClearwaterCounty.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Idaho’s
least snowy place is Grand View in Owyhee
County, recieving
7.2 inches of snow each year.

 



IDAHO SCORES
BIG WITH GRANTS FROM TU NATIONAL

 



Four of five grants requested by the ITU Council and TU chapters
were funded in full or in part by TU’s Embrace A Stream 2003 cold water fisheries conservation program.
We’re still waiting word on a sixth request that was submitted jointly by the
ITU and
Wyoming councils, but chances are very good it’s a
winner, too.

 

This is a remarkable display of Idaho TU members’ commitment to
conservation and rejuvenation of
Idaho’s equally remarkable
fisheries resources. Especially significant is the cooperative efforts proposed
at both the interstate and intrastate levels as well as nationally between ITU
and TU.

 

Chapter sponsors will receive separate letters on their grants,
and, of course, the checks should be in the mail shortly.

 

(no word yet)
Thomas Fork Fish Ladder Construction in
Bear River drainage.The ITU Council and
Wyoming TU joined forces in sponsoring an
EAS grant application for the
Thomas Fork Fish Ladder Construction project that would benefit Bonneville
cutthroat trout conservation in the Thomas Fork River in southeastern Idaho
that headwaters in southwestern Wyoming. The Thomas Fork is a tributary of the
Bear River.

 

The
project involves construction of a fish ladder facility on an irrigation
diversion on the Thomas Fork just upstream from its merger with the Bear that
blocks upstream spawning migrations and impacts BCT populations throughout the
drainage. The
Wyoming and Idaho councils of Trout Unlimited, in
partnership with the USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Flyway River Ranch, propose to
retrofit this structure with a fish ladder in order to ensure upstream fish
passage during seasonal irrigation diversion.

Trout
Unlimited volunteers from local chapters in both
Idaho and Wyoming will be recruited to aid in both
construction and monitoring of fish movement through the facility, especially
during crucial spawning runs. Also, with the new TU national focus on building
grassroots connections through state councils, this
EAS project provides a shared conservation
goal that will help strengthen both council organizations.

 

$2,000 granted
for Instream Migration, Habitat Use and Genetics of
Trout in Upper Salmon Trout.
The ITU Council, in
cooperation with its TU chapters and their volunteer resources, sponsored an
EAS grant in support of a major
study of the seasonal movements and habitat uses by fluvial trout in the
UpperSalmonRiver Basin. Focus is on bull trout, westslope cutthroat and redband
rainbow migrations through radio telemetry observations similar to the
successful cutthroat studies performed on Bear Valley Creek previously
sponsored and accomplished by the Ted Trueblood
Chapter.

 

The project will involve many cooperative educational efforts,
including local schools, directed at awareness of the needs of these trout
populations that hopefully result in state and federal agencies, as well as
landowners, making resource management decisions that benefit native fish
populations.

 

$10,000 granted
for Bring Back the Natives in Pahsimeroi
drainage.
The ITU Council co-sponsored
the
EAS grant application of TU/BLM for a restoration project in
the
PahsimeroiRiver drainage in Southcentral Idaho as part of the Bring Back
the Natives program of TU/
BLM. The project focuses on
Falls Creek, a tributary that has been dewatered by inefficient irrigation
practices for almost 100 years. The work would entail lining 3 primary
irrigation channels with pipe and rechannelizing the
lower reaches so that they reconnect to the main stem Pahsimeroi,
a tributary of the
Salmon River. The project would open up historic spawning and rearing habitat
for chinook salmon and
steelhead, and benefit the resident bull trout population.

 

The ITU Council is co-sponsoring this
project because it’s located in a place where we wish to do more work. Plus it
involves anadromous fish, which involve an issue
where the council wants to show more visible support. Our principal
contribution will be in obtaining volunteer help from Idaho TU members for on-the-ground
restoration work, as well as in promoting the project through the media as a
key example of how Idaho TU members contribute to anadromous
fisheries conservation.

 

*
$2,500 granted for Bird Creek Habitat Improvement Project in St. Joe drainage.
The
Idaho Panhandle Chapter sponsored an
EAS grant application for restoration of
Bird Creek, a tributary to the
St.JoeRiver, 10 miles upstream from Avery. The purpose of the Bird
Creek Habitat Improvement Project is to restore habitat for bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout while maintaining and protecting
an important stream valley access road. This proposed project will increase
pool habitat and abundance of large woody debris in Bird Creek by constructing
53 habitat improvement structures including j-hook vanes, rock vortex weirs,
boulder and log barbs, cover logs, log revetments, and pool enhancement in a
2.6 mile section of stream. Increased pool habitat and abundance of large woody
debris will promote recovery of bull trout and increase protection of westslope cutthroat trout in the
St.JoeRiver watershed while maintaining recreational and management
access.

 

*$2,500 granted for Cottonwood Creek Day-lighting Project in Boise.The Ted Trueblood Chapter requested an EAS grant for habitat restoration
of Cottonwood Creek in
Boise that would literally restore
it to the light of day. The creek is currently buried in a 450-foot flume in
JuliaDavisPark. Once “day-lighted,”
Cottonwood Creek will provide fisheries habitat reconnected to the
BoiseRiver and endless educational and
recreational opportunities in a highly visible urban location in a city park.

 

The Ted Trueblood
chapter intends to apply to other funding sources on this project because it
thinks it will be wildly popular in the city, notwithstanding the small flows
and not being a big fish producer.

 

(No
funds granted) Habitat Use and Migration of Cutthroat Trout
in
Coeur
d’Alene

River.The Idaho Panhandle Chapter asked for an EAS grant application for Habitat Use and
Migration of Cutthroat Trout in
Coeur d’AleneRiver to determine why westslope
cutthroat populations are not increasing in the river. Primary focus of the
effort will be through a radio telemetry study. Data will be directed toward
aiding management decisions for the river to protect and enhance conservation
of native fish fishery and resolve management conflicts between agencies and
other resource users.

 

 

CHAPTER
NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE OF
IDAHO

 



Ted Trueblood
Chapter:
Richard
Prange is the president of the Ted Trueblood Chapter.
The big news from the chapter in southwest
Idaho is
the Gold Trout award (see related story in this newsletter).
Idaho‘s
largest chapter, at 700 members, received the award in recognition of the
numerous projects and programs.In the
taxonomy of Isaiah
Berlin‘s
1953 essay The Hedgehog and the Fox,
(
“The fox
knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”),
well
let’s say the Ted Trueblood Chapter is classified as
a fox.

 

The Chapter was awarded a grant from Idaho
Fish and Game to aid the project to restore access to several headwater
tributaries to the Middle Fork of the
PayetteRiver by
removing nearly several weirs and structures that blocked fish access.The structures were there from old Forest
Service Silver Creek research project.

 

Chapter member Barry Ross was appointed by
the Secretary of Agriculture to the Southwest Idaho Resource Advisory Committee
where he represents national conservation interests.Barry was successful in getting the
RAC to
become a funding partner in the Silver Creek Project mentioned above.

 

In the Boise area
the Chapter moves forward with two side channel restoration projects.One is in east
Boise in
what will be a 15 acre riverfront natural park near the Harris Ranch
development.The other project is on
EagleIsland.Both projects have funding support from the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

 

These BoiseRiver
projects augment the Chapter’s focus on the need for better water management,
and the Chapter commented to the Bureau of Reclamation on the future of 71,000
acre feet of water soon to be available as contracts in
LuckyPeak
expire.

 

The Trout in the Classroom Project expands
again, to eleven schools in
Boise, Idaho
City, Emmett and Kuna.Idaho Fish and
Game recently awarded the Chapter a small education grant to help expand this
project.

 

Last February more than 250 enthusiasts
came out to the “Trout on Tuesday” event in downtown
Boise to
view the Trout Unlimited Television
episodes filmed at Bear Valley Creek and the
Teton
River
in 2001.

 

All in all, a busy year.

 

Hemingway Chapter:A new teacher at HaileyElementary
School
has begun a second Trout in the Classroom
program there. Our chapter contributed $200 to the effort, the balance coming
from the Magic Valley Fly Fishers and IDFG. Total cost $550.

 

The
Elkhorn Creek restoration project for which we received an Embrace A Stream grant last year was completed this spring with
construction of fish ladder.This action
reconnects Elkhon Creek with the
BigWoodRiver.

John
Hardin is seeking someone to replace him as president. Volunteers to
re-invigorate the Hemingway Chapter are also welcome.Contact John, or Ken Retallic,
ITU Council chair, who also lives in Ketchum.

 

 

Southeast Idaho Chapter:Dave
Whitworth is the new president of Southeast Idaho Chapter.

 

Rob Gregoire, former chapter president and ITU Council District
5 director, was transferred to
Bozeman by
his firm.
Idaho’s loss, Montana’s gain.
Rob was featured this past summer as one of TU’s
“Volunteer Heros” on the to.org website.

 

The
chapter established a good connection for
Bear
River
efforts with a person in Preston
named Jeff Seamons. Jeff, Rob Gregoire,
and Scott Yates met with Utah TU in March to discuss the settlement plan on the
Bear River Dam relicensing negotiations.Thanks to Andy Brunelle, Brayton Willis of the Corps contacted us and our chapter
may play a role in the removal of a 300-foot concrete “flood” wall on
the
PortneufRiver in
the town of
Lava Hot Springs. The
cost will run around $100,000 but it will be a good thing even if we only
donate a small part.

 

We
entered into an agreement with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game that
allows us to be reimbursed (if they have the money) for purchases going towards
restoring the Portneuf. For example, we were reimbursed
by IDF&G for $2,500 of fencing materials bought early this year.Our chapter is currently budgeting $500 per
year towards Portneuf maintenance and restoration
efforts.

 

This
spring we replaced or repaired 800 feet of fence on the
Upper
Portneuf
! We still have about
1/4 mile of fence that needs to be repaired in the next few years.

 

Idaho Panhandle Chapter:At the 21st Annual Spring Fever Fundraising
Banquet (2002) the chapter netted over $12,000 and used it to make the
following allocations:

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>$5,000 toward an independent review of the
hydrology data contained in the Iron
Honey Final Environmental Impact Statement
. The Iron Honey project is part
of
USFS
restoration on 20,000 acres in the headwaters of the Upper N. Fork of the
Coeur
d’Alene
River;

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>$1,000 to Grouse Creek Enhancement
Project;

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>$900 to purchase a Living Stream Aquarium
for
WashingtonElementary
School
;

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>$500 to help study Torrent Sculpin throughout the IdahoPanhandleNational
Forest
;

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Donated copies of “A Stump Full of
Lures” to area schools.

 

Reed Gillespie Chapter:We
continue to support with labor and funds net pens in
PayetteLake to
rear approximately 10,000 trout which are released in September and support a
local fishery in the south end of the lake.

 

The
chapter pitched in with labor to renovate the old ramp at Little Lake by
extending it four feet this past fall. The chapter expects to assist with
installation of new docks and an outhouse that are planned for sometime this
year. Work is also under way to develop a small craft launching area on Little
Lake for float tubes and small boats.

 

Last
summer chapter members spent three workdays, in conjunction with Idaho Fish
& Game, planting willows and other woody plants for riparian restoration in
the Little Salmon River watershed.

 

The chapter
co-sponsored a free fishing day clinic at the Meadow Creek pond with Fish and
Game and the Forest Service last year, and will be doing the same this year.

 

MagicValley Fly Fishers:Commercial trout fisheries company,
Clear Springs Foods, planted 13,000 lbs. or about 222,000 five-inch fingerlings
at 5 different locations in the Magic Valley Region. The planting of
commercially raised fish was a breakthrough with IDF&G who finally worked
out an agreement to allow this to happen. In the past, if Clear Springs did not
have a buyer for the trout, they just buried them. Now any excess fish that
can’t be marketed can be planted in state waters within the Magic Valley
Region–mostly in reservoirs.

 

Our
annual banquet and membership drive in February was a winner. Steve Probasco was our banquet speaker and put on a super show
about fly fishing in the Northwest. He also put on a great fly tying seminar at
the
College of Southern
Idaho
. The seminar was video taped and made
available to members for $10.

 

We
presented a $300 scholarship to
CSI
Fisheries Management student, Gary Jackson. The scholarship is named the “Ruel Stayner Memorial” in honor
of the late Mr. Stayner inventor of the Stayner Ducktail.

Submitted a Challenge Grant proposal to IDF&G to cost share a
“bubbler” to aid the oxygen supply during the winter for trout in Mormon
Reservoir.
The proposal was not funded.

 

Contributed monies to: Idaho
Rivers United; TNC-Silver Creek; TNC-Henry’s
Lake; The
Henry’s Fork Foundation; the Henry’s
LakeFoundation; and Idaho TU for a total of $2,100.

 

Cost
shared a chemical spray to help eradicate smartweed in Mormon Reservoir. The
application took place the last week of August. The smartweed was growing
profusely on the dry lake portion of the reservoir. About 300 acres was sprayed
by contract helicopter. The intent was to reduce the amount of aquatic
vegetation that robs fish of oxygen in the winter. It also opens up water to
enable better fishing and boating. The project was cost shared by the Idaho
Department of Agriculture, the Magic Valley Fly Fishers, and the Ted Trueblood Chapter of TU. Total cost was approximately
$10,000.

 

Coordinated the establishment of a Trout-in-the-Classroom project
in the
HaileyMiddle
school
.
Cooperators were the IDF&G (Jerome), the Magic Valley Fly Fishers, and the
Hemingway Chapter of TU. The total Trout-in-the-Classroom projects in the area
now number 10.

 

MVFF
representative Ben Collins helped set up bull trout traps on the Middle Fork
and the
North Fork of
the
BoiseRiver in
August. The traps are part of a West-wide study
Idaho is
doing on bull trout.

 

Snake River Cutthroats Chapter:Jim
Mathias is the new president of the chapter.

 

The
chapter changed its name to Snake River Cutthroats to avoid confusion with
other
Upper Snake River organizations.

 

Salmon
River
Conservation Project: 15th annual trek to the North
Fork
of the Salmon River to
install in-stream log structures that create improved spawning habitat for
Salmon, Steelhead, and other species. The Forest Service biologists have
observed salmon using the structures we installed last spring.

 

Tree
Planting on Burns Creek: In building the Burns Creek weir, the road was
relocated back from the stream. Jim Fredericks of Fish and Game asked for our
help in planting some small trees in the old roadway to help stabilize it and
reduce sedimentation.

 

Fencing
of Prichard Creek, South Fork: A project identified by Jim Capurso
of the Forest Service, and organized by Matt Woodard of the Home Rivers
Project. We fenced approximately a third to quarter mile of Prichard Creek, a
small spawning stream, to start protecting riparian areas that have been
suffering from grazing. Later this year, the banks of a downcut
section will be feathered out, and we will need to go in for a weekend of riparian
planting of willows, etc.

 

Fencing
and Riparian Planting on Sheridan Creek,
IslandPark: The
Harriman State Park is restoring the lower end of Sheridan Creek to its
original streambed. They are raising funds to install new diversion structures,
open the old streambed, fence riparian areas, and undertake wetland plantings.

 

Also,
possibly, a fencing project on Moody Creek above the Rexburg bench off Highway
33.

 

Funds
raised from the 9th Annual East Idaho Fly Tying Expo & Banquet in Spring 2002 were given by the Cutthroats for the following:

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Approved the Home Rivers Initiative grant
request for $2,500 toward fencing, etc. to restore Pritchard Creek. Total
project is $25,100, partners are IDF&G, One Fly
Foundation, and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Granted the Henry’s Fork Foundation $500
in either cash or credit at Jimmy’s for their Henry’s Fork Days. We have
historically provided this support each year and supports
a very worthwhile organization.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Granted the Pocatello Southeast Idaho Fly
Fishers $500 for their conservation programs as a token of our appreciation for
their outstanding efforts toward and support of the Expo.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Granted the IdahoState
Trout Unlimited Council $750.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Committed approximately $1,000 of the Expo
net toward supporting the Biologically Based System Management (BBSM) study for
the Heise to Lorenzo stretch of the South Fork of the
Snake River. Partners in this study are National
Trout Unlimited and the major underwriter, the Bureau of Reclamation.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Hold in reserve $500 to be used to
participate in Phase 2 of the Henry’s Fork boat ramps and access project during
the year 2002.

<![if !supportLists]>·
<![endif]>Started a “Major Project Reserve
Fund” accumulating a substantial fund for use on some future important
project where the Cutthroats can make a major contribution. Start by placing
$3,000 in a restricted fund.

 

 

A
Stump Full of Lures
still available

 

A Stump Full of Lures, published last year by Idaho Trout
Unlimited, is still available for purchase.
The book is a collection of short essays, stories, and poems written by
Idaho
members of Trout Unlimited.

 

ITU
has broken even on printing costs of the book, but there are still a
significant number of books available that to be sold to clear a profit.

Proceeds benefit Idaho Trout Unlimited.
For the book to provide the most benefit
to ITU it must be distributed nationally.
Shawn Miller and Ken Retallic are developing a
business plan for reprinting and national distribution of the book.

 

“The authors who contributed to this book
tell best the wonders of
Idaho fishing,” Retallic
said. “The book also should be seen by
Idaho Trout Unlimited chapters as one of
the best possible ways or presenting their missions to contributors to their
fund-raising efforts. The book represents every aspect and region of the state.
It can be presented as a gift to major donors in addition to being sold
individually as a continuation of the
Idaho
fishing story.”

The
book is available for purchase from Idaho Trout Unlimited via mail, at
www.idahotu.org, from local chapters, and fly shops around
Idaho.

 

The
price for Trout Unlimited members is $10.00 per book, and $12.00 for
nonmembers.Five or more books are $8.00
each.Shipping is $0.50 per copy.

 

Mail
order checks should be written to Idaho Trout Unlimited. Send mail orders to:

 

IDAHO
TROUT UNLIMITED

BOX
4643

KETCHUM, IDAHO83340

 

 

 

IDAHO TROUT

SUMMER 2001 NEWSLETTER

 

SOUTH FORK OF THE SNAKE RIVER RECEIVES NATIONAL “HOME RIVERS” DESIGNATION

The largest grant in the history of Trout Unlimited is headed to Idaho’s South Fork of the Snake River. The three-year, $450,000 grant was announced April 20, 2001 at the annual banquet of the Upper Snake River Cutthroats in Idaho Falls.

The South Fork of the Snake River becomes Trout Unlimited’s newest addition to its national “Home Rivers” program. The focus of this Home Rivers initiative on the South Fork will be the protection of the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout. “In lieu of this initiative, we could continue to muddle along with under-funded efforts that wouldn’t get much done,” said Bob Dunnagan, president for Idaho Trout Unlimited. “This is a wonderful chance to make a difference,” he told the Idaho Falls Post Register.

Rated as one of the top fisheries in the nation, the cutthorat trout of the South Fork Snake River are under threat from nonnative rainbow trout that have been introduced in the drainage. Idaho Fish and Game has begun taking steps to control rainbow trout that spawn in some South Fork tributaries. Steps taken now to improve prospects for the cutthroat trout will help ensure a viable fishery and prevent the fish from being placed on the endangered species list.

The current health of the South Fork Snake River population was one factor cited by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in its decision not to place Yellowstone cutthroat trout on the list of federally endangered species last year. Trout Unlimited will work closely with Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the US Forest Service, and other parties to identify the best uses for these funds. Research and habitat restoration will both be high priorities.

FALL MEETING IDAHO STATE COUNCIL TROUT UNLIMITED
Friday and Saturday September 28-29, 2001, Driggs,
Idaho. Call David at (208) 424-1251 or email: davidscott83702@yahoo.com for specific times and location, or check out the website www.idahotu.org. Join us at the foot of the Tetons!

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Andy has been after me to write my “final” president’s message for the newsletter so I walked down to the river this morning with Abby—-my dog —in order to think about what I could or should write. The walk was pleasant—– the river is high with some visibility and the trillium, bluebells and some other unidentified plants are in full bloom. Abby chased the scents of spring and then forced me to throw sticks in the river so she could swim and retrieve. I thought there must be some connection between the “new beginnings” of spring and the transition that will occur as Ken Retallic becomes the new council president in a few months. I’m sure there is a connection but it didn’t come to me—-we (Abby and I) just had a nice walk and watched beaver and woodpeckers.

When I agreed to take on what I thought would be a part time job I asked the council members if they were ready to “step up to the next organizational level”. I probably didn’t know what that meant but it sounded fairly good. They all said yes! yes! I don’t think they knew what was about to happen any more then I did.

In the intervening years ITU has become a full partner with, and, I think, a power in the national organization of Trout Unlimited. We have come close to doubling our membership, we’ve added three active chapters (and closed two inactive chapters), cleaned up lots of those “organizational” issues and procedures that can help or hinder any group depending upon how they are used. We completed much of our old 5-year strategic plan and developed a new strategic plan to carry ITU into the 21st. century. We have forged a closer bond with the folks at Idaho Department of Fish and Game as well as individual members of the F&G Commission. All of these items are keyed to helping fish over the long haul.

During the last three years Idaho has received eight “Embrace A Stream” grants, more then any other state. We have just held our second meeting on the Home River Initiative for the Upper Snake between Palisades and the Henry’s Fork. This latter program is the largest restoration program that Trout Unlimited has and we are only the second western state to gain favorable consideration from this program. What I think this illustrates is that the National office is listening to us and understands what we are asking for and that we will succeed.

Well, we’ve made lots of other big steps but perhaps the largest is the employment of David Scott as our Executive Director. This single action has had a far greater impact on ITU that any other action that we have taken. In the end I think we will realize that his employment requires more sustained effort from each of the TU members in Idaho then anything else we will do in the future. It is the first major step towards meeting the goal of becoming the leading advocate for trout in the state of Idaho. It means that each of us will have to make a greater commitment to the future with or time, our money, and our thoughtful influence.

The job isn’t over—–it’s just beginning (that must be the tie to spring that I was searching for earlier). We need to help the politicians and land managers understand the value of native fish as an indicator of the long-term health of our great state. We must, I believe, get the folks in positions of power to understand that the next generation deserves a quality of life at least equal to our own. Healthy native fish in free flowing streams are my indicator of how well we are succeeding for my newest grandson, born just two weeks ago on May 8th.

Cheers

A New Book by (and for) Idaho Trout Unlimited

Coming off the press this summer is a book compiled by Idaho Trout Unlimited. A Stump Full of Lures will be available for purchase with proceeds to benefit Idaho Trout Unlimited.

The book is a collection of short essays, stories, and poems written by Idaho members of Trout Unlimited. The book is available for purchase from Idaho Trout Unlimited via mail (see reply envelope in this newsletter) and from your local chapter.

Books will also be placed in retail outlets that are interested in carrying the books for Trout Unlimited, including fly shops and book stores.

Readers will recognize a couple of famous names among the set of authors. Former Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus contributed an essay. Another famous writer is the late Ted Trueblood.

Other writers who made a contribution include Dan Scott, Perry Marlette, Keith Kiler, Jerry Bullock, Loren Albright, John Taylor, Ron Dean, Daniel Arguedas, T.J. Newbill, Shawn Miller, Tom Governale, Roger Phillips, Jack Parker, Ken Retallic, Bill Eastlake, Andrew Stokes, Maggie Hollingsworth, Tod Robinson, Doug Fageness, Dr. Steve Pauley, Joel Miller and Dave Harper.

Shawn Miller coordinated the collection of contributions, and he deserves our thanks for his efforts.

Submissions were received from each region of the state. This is a fun and rewarding book. Be sure to buy copies of the book for friends, family, those in the office, and others.

A Passion for Trout

By Dennis Nicholls

I had long entertained the notion that the perfect manifestation of a fly fisherman was Paul McLean, Norman’s brother, as played by Brad Pitt in the movie, A River Runs Through It. In the scene where “Pauli” latches onto that gigantic monster of a trout on the Big Blackfoot River, I was convinced he knew trout; knew how to think like them, despite his modest assertion to the contrary before his dad and brother as he hefted the fish onto his shoulder.

From the moment Paul spied the dark pool where he suspected a fish lurked to when the gargantuan trout took his fly; from the second his reel began screaming as the immense Blackfoot denizen shot like a torpedo downstream, dragging Paul with him, to when his head bobbed to the surface of a rapid below house-sized boulders, I elevated that man or at least the depiction of that man to a place of rare esteem. Vicariously, I have caught that fish over and over again with each viewing of the movie.

Yep, Paul McLean, I had figured for years, was “Mr. Trout” when it came to fly fishing.

Then I met Ken Cameron and his wife, Gail. And Bob Dunnagan. Ron Forsberg. Gary and Martha Bauer. Troy Tvrdy. Loren Albright. And a bunch more whose names I can’t all remember.

My mind has changed about who Mr. (or Ms.) Trout could be, now. Thing is, I’ve not seen any of these people fish, but from the encounters I’ve had with them, I’d say just about every one of them know trout and know how to think like one. And because of that, they have a deep sense of commitment to doing whatever it takes to perpetuate wild trout in the streams and lakes of North Idaho. You could call it a passion for trout, and it’s a passion these folks and others like them exhibit day in and day out.

One thing these people have in common with a couple of hundred other residents of these parts is that they make up the Panhandle Chapter of Trout Unlimited. It’s one of the smaller chapters anywhere in the nation but for years it has been one of the most successful in raising money for projects geared toward preserving native trout and their habitat. In fact, this local chapter was so successful at fundraising last year that they were awarded the coveted Gold Trout Award from the national convention of Trout Unlimited. Ron Forsberg was president at the time and he was seceded by Troy Tvrdy at last year’s banquet.

Well, nearly a full year has come and gone and the time for another banquet rolled around. 2001 marked the 20th Annual Spring Fever Banquet for the local chapter of TU, which was held march 10th at Sandpoint’s City Forum. As usual, there was an incredible array of opportunities to spend money on raffles and auctions and the like, all for the cause of funding the chapter’s dizzying list of projects aimed at keeping trout in area waters healthy and abundant.

Though I knew the likes of Ken and Gary and Bob eat and sleep fly fishing, I was taken by surprise one Friday night at the Bauer’s when several of them asked to go snowshoeing/skiing with me into the Ross Creek Cedars in Montana. I certainly didn’t mind the company, and so out we went the following day. It was one of those gorgeous days we had so many of this past winter, once the sun mustered enough strength to sweep the fog off the mountainsides and clear the sky overhead. Our happy band set off up the road, some on skis, others on shoes, and we negotiated the three miles of snowbound road to the grove of ancient trees nestled deep in that valley.

For a change, I didn’t hear them talking about fly fishing, but then, I didn’t get in on every conversation that day, either. But what I did get in on was a good look at a few ordinary people with an extraordinary love for the place where they live and the multitude of opportunities to enjoy it. But they also seem to intentionally know that this place cannot remain special forever without the care that those who love it most can give.

This care manifests itself in the effort it takes to raise thousands of dollars year after year, a task the Panhandle Chapter of Trout Unlimited seems driven to perform; and in the stories it doesn’t take long to start spinning once you get just two or three of these anglers together for even a moment.

Anyone who is a coldwater fisheries fan may well want to know more about this group of dedicated folks. Find out who the real “Mr. Trout” is and I think it won’t be someone in a movie. It may very well be your neighbor, the fisherman you rub shoulders with everyday.

Dennis Nicholls is owner and publisher of The River Journal, a twice-monthly newspaper based in Sandpoint, Idaho. This story first appeared in TRJ in February 2001.

TROUT IN THE CLASSROOM WRAPS UP ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL YEAR

It’s a bright, but cold morning on the footbridge over Loggers Creek. The students of Mrs. Karren Miller’s fourth grade class at St. Joseph’s School in Boise huddle closely together. A sad kind of excitement runs through their ranks.

Mrs. Miller’s husband, Steve, kneels close to the edge of the bank. Inside the blue cooler he holds to the water’s edge swim about rainbow trout 40 fry Mrs. Miller’s class raised from 100 eggs in the Trout-in-the-Classroom program. Logger’s Creek this morning registers 44-degrees for release.
Sponsored by the Ted Trueblood Chapter of Idaho Trout Unlimited, the students’ adventure with Trout-in-the-Classroom began at the end of January and by February, the class had all the equipment, materials, curriculum, and 100 fertilized eggs.

“I thought I was the most excited, but the kids said this project was “the best,” Mrs. Miller said. “The kids play it pretty cool around me, but their folks know all about what we’re doing and that shows me they’re excited about what their learning because they’re passing it along to their parents.”
Begun in Idaho in 1995, Trout-in-the-Classroom uses a curriculum and materials developed by fisheries biologists to teach the lifecycle of trout to elementary and secondary school students. Coldwater tanks are placed into classrooms, where the eggs are fertilized and allowed to develop, and volunteer biologists instruct students in trout anatomy, biology, and habitat.

In Mrs. Miller’s class, volunteers from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise State University, Idaho Power Company, and CH2M Hill Engineering also participated in the project. Art projects, field trips, guest speakers, and a necrology supplemented the students’ Trout-in-the-Classroom education.
“Don’t forget to write,” calls out one of the students from the footbridge over Logger’s Creek as the newly released fry congregate briefly before dispersing in all directions. “Have a nice life. Grow up big,” come other voices across the water.

As one adventure comes to a close, another is just beginning this May morning. And the lessons learned by these young stewards of Idaho’s coldwater resources will surely make a difference in the years to come.
“This has been such a great project,” Mrs. Miller says on her way back to the cars from Logger’s Creek. “I can’t wait to build on it for next year.”


Report from Magic Valley

I guess we are a do nothing Chapter compared to what is going on in
other Chapters in the State. I suppose someone has to be sucking hind
tit. Oh well, maybe we will have an awakening one of these days.

About the only thing newsworthy is that the MVFF has established a
scholarship fund at CSI for deserving students in their Fisheries
Technology Program. The annual scholarship is called the Ruel Stayner
Memorial Scholarship in memory of the legendary fly fisherman who ran
his sporting goods shop in Twin Falls for 50 years. He died in 1996. He
devised countless fly patterns over the years and became famous for his
Stayner ducktail.

The first recepients of this scholarship were Nathan Jensen and Erin
McClymonds. Each received a $250 scholarship for their second semester
at CSI. Nathan is a 24 year old originally from Cross Plains,
Wisconsin. He graduated from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton,
Wisconsin in their Natural Resource Program. He came to CSI to study
fish and fish farming. He plans on transferring to the University of
Idaho this fall to continue his studies in fisheries resources.

Erin is a 19 year old student from Jerome, Idaho and plans on
getting her Associate Degree at CSI and transfer to the University of
Idaho and continue her studies toward a degree in fisheries resources.
The students received their awards at our annual Banquet and Membership
Drive held February 17th in Twin Falls. We are goin to up the ante next
year and increase the scholarship award to $1000 (two $500
scholarships-spread the wealth).

Our annual banquet was well attended with about 165 folks. Speaker
Mike Lawson gave a super program on fishing what he called “Home
Waters.” Mike also gave a morning fly tying session that was video taped
at CSI. The fly tying session video is available for a nominal fee of
$10.

That’s not much of a report but we haven’t come up with any
astounding conservation programs. I have been working with IDF&G to
establish a brown trout fisheries in the Little Wood River but most
folks in the department hate brown trout and consider them too exotic
(what are rainbows?). Anyway, I’m about ready to consider a Rocky
Mountain bonefish (carp) introduction in all of our Magic Valley streams
and reservoirs (just kidding).

Break a leader,
Ben
-Ben Collins, Magic Valley Fly Fishers

Report from McCall Area

We have several riparian projects in cooperation with IDFG plus some major work is planned for this summer at Little Payette Lake. We are working with Valley County Waterways, the county road department, Forest Service and a private engineering firm to build a “small watercraft launch” plus we will be replaceing the current docks with some in MUCH better condition.

That will just about take all the people and time we can muster for this summer. One item that is newsworthy from our viewpoint is the loss of our namesake, Reed Gillespie, in March. The banquet is over and we can breathe again. We had a fun evening but barely broke even. We are going to be doing some major reevaluation. Instead of being a fund raiser, people seem to think it is bargain night. Not a good scenario.

We had a riparian repair day May 12 on Round Valley Creek. We had about 30 person hours from Reed Gilespie Chapter and about 9 or 10 people from the Boise area co-ordinated by Mary Dudley with IDFG. We planted one-gallon size plants from Buffalo Berry Farm here in McCall. It was the second time on this ranch. I think we are starting to get the banks stabilized and in the future will have a great stretch of water with plenty of shade and improved water table.

Ferne Krumm,
Reed Gillespie Chapter


IDAHO TROUT UNLIMITED
TROUT UNLIMITED REGIONAL MEETING REPORT
MAY 4, 2001- CRAIG, MONTANA

Submitted by David Scott, ITU Executive Director

CONSERVATION:
South Fork Snake River- Biggest step forward for ITU this year is the Home Rivers Initiative grant of $450,000 over three years for research, conservation and Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout fisheries restoration on the South Fork of the Snake River. First year activities include assisting state and federal managers to erect and operate fish weirs on four tributaries to manually remove non-native rainbow trout and identify mainstem/tributary habitat restoration projects (Upper Snake River Cutthroats Chapter). This project has also received $250 from the newly created Southeast Idaho Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Elkhorn Creek- A $2,000 Embrace-a-Stream grant will enable Redband Trout to migrate to and from the Big Wood River, create more than five acres of wetlands, and restore 1,280 feet of the original Elkhorn Creek stream channel. The project will include the planting of riparian vegetation along the original stream channel, which has been essentially dry for approximately 40 years. The three-year project calls for gradual reintroduction of water to Elkhorn Creek for eventual year-round use by fish and wildlife and a fish ladder around a local pond to help improve spawning habitat in Elkhorn Creek. (Hemingway Chapter).

Kickbush Slide- A $10,000 Embrace-a-Stream grant awarded this year will be dedicated to eliminating sediment into prime Bull Trout spawning habitat from the Kickbush Slide near Gold Creek. Gold Creek is the second most important spawning stream for adfluvial Bull Trout in the Lake Pend Oreille watershed. (Panhandle Chapter).

Bear Valley Creek- A $4,000 Embrace-a-Stream grant will help finance the completion of a two-year migration, spawning, and habitat study of Westslope Cutthroat Trout in the Bear Valley and Middle Fork Salmon drainage using radio telemetry tags. Website: www.cutthroatradio.com (Ted Trueblood Chapter).

Snake River Basin- ITU’s Upper Snake Cutthroats Chapter donated $250 to a conservation advertising campaign, planted willows on the upper Blackfoot River, assisted with electroshocking rainbows on the South Fork of the Snake River, and provided oral and written testimony supporting dam breaching for salmon recovery.

Salmon River Basin- The Upper Snake River Cutthroats Chapter of ITU participated in a project to enhance critical habitat for a portion of the migratory and resident fish of the upper Salmon River basin. The work included installation of 15 log and rock structures in the lower section of Dump Creek.

Spring Creek- ITU’s Reed Gillespie Chapter is working on two projects involving riparian restoration on Spring Creek and the stream running through a local landowner’s private property. The chapter also pledged $2,000 for the construction of a fishing pond south of Cascade near the Payette River, and offered to work on a boat ramp on Little Lake.

Twin Creek- The Panhandle Chapter of ITU is continuing the restoration of Bull Trout habitat on Twin Creek. Using funds from a $50,000 grant, coupled with Avista Corp. mitigation funds, the chapter recently purchased land and a house along a critical Bull Trout spawning stream, Trestle Creek, a tributary at the north end of Lake Pend Oreille. The house will be demolished, conservation easements attached to the land, and the land will then be resold. Receipts from the sale will help purchase more land or conservation easements along Bull Trout spawning and rearing streams in North Idaho.

Boise River- ITU’s Ted Trueblood Chapter continues to participate in the governmental processes of putting side channels to the Boise River within the Harris Ranch subdivision development. The project, which received an $8,000 Embrace-a-Stream grant this year, will create a new half-mile channel (Trueblood Creek) for spawning, rearing, and over-wintering fish habitat, all of which are currently limited for the river fishery. Trueblood Creek will be located within a planned 35-acre riverfront natural park currently under study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and City of Boise as the site of an additional 1-mile side channel through Harris Ranch. The chapter is also active in placing sanitary facilities along the South Fork of the Boise River and addressing inadequate fish ladder flows for Bull Trout on Kirby Dam.

Weiser River- The Ted Trueblood Chapter of ITU is currently examining the potential for participation in a proposed expansion of Lost Valley Reservoir on the Weiser River. The proposed expansion will purportedly improve water quality on the Weiser River, allow additional capture and storage of water for optimal release that will facilitate higher flows on the Weiser River in late summer. Improvements to the 100-mile habitat for Redband Trout on the river include additional fish production, improved angling opportunities, more sophisticated management capabilities, and opportunities to establish and/or improve threatened Bull Trout populations. Additional volumes of water released in late summer will also assist advancing regional fish management strategies.

Portneuf River- ITU’s new Southeast Idaho Chapter has purchased $2,500 worth of fencing material for replacement of riparian fence on the Portneuf River. The Chapter has also gathered nearly $1,000 worth of fly tying materials for children and participated in efforts to protect native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the Blackfoot River from introgression with introduced rainbow trout.

EDUCATION:
Trout-in-the-Classroom- There are currently 15 Trout-in-the-Classroom projects in operation throughout Idaho’s public and private elementary and secondary school system. Using a curriculum and materials developed by fisheries biologists, who also donate their time for in-class instruction, the project teaches students the life cycle of trout as well as trout anatomy, biology, habitat, and entomology. Water quality, ecology, and environmental stewardship are also taught and stressed.

Coldwater tanks are placed into classrooms, where trout eggs are fertilized and allowed to develop. The new fry remain in classroom tanks until they are ready for release by the students in nearby creeks and streams. Photographs, journals, and web site development record the learning process of the students. Trout-in-the-Classroom offers students a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience not currently available in IdahoÕs science curriculum. Requests for participation in this program at this time exceed ITU’s ability to meet demand. ITU was awarded assistance from the Albertson’s Foundation Community Partners Card program to help fund this program.

Bull Trout Education Program- Concentrated in the Lower Clark Fork Basin (LCFB), but adaptable to all areas of Idaho in which Bull Trout are found, ITU provides a variety of school and public education opportunities focused on the threatened Bull Trout.

1. A Bull Trout Education Trunk, including all professional teaching materials and information needed to support a two-week teaching unit, is made available to elementary and secondary schools.

2. A free teacher seminar for those using the trunk will be made available to educators each spring.

3. Four covered kiosks with information on the threatened Bull Trout will be placed in strategic locations.

4. Laminated educational posters have been and will continue to be placed in prime fishing locations.

5. Public education handouts have been and will continue to be distributed to anglers and non-anglers streamside and at other opportune sites.

6. A bull trout booth will be erected at this year’s Bonner County Fair.

7. A 14-minute educational video on the Bull Trout has been produced and distributed throughout the LCFB.

8. A bull trout website will soon be under construction.

The Bull Trout Educational Program is made possible through mitigation negotiations with Avista Corp. and is part of a partnership between ITU, Avista, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

First Cast- Idaho Trout Unlimited recently began recruiting schools for its First Cast fly fishing and ecology program. This program can be adapted for elementary or secondary students and emphasizes fly casting, fly tying, fly fishing equipment,
reading the water, fish identification, fish anatomy, water quality, entomology, catch-and-release, ecology, and stewardship.

ITU Educational Endowment Scholarship Fund- The Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited Graduate Scholarship Fund offers assistance to students currently enrolled full-time or accepted into an accredited graduate program at an Idaho university. Trout Unlimited membership is not required, but is recognized in the selection process. Applicants are required to have a strong record of academic achievement and leadership. This fund is still in the building stages, but will be available to a qualifying student whose academic work has a positive effect for native Idaho fisheries. ITU is still building this fund and has about $1,500 currently invested.

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
1. Reactivated the long-dormant Hemingway Chapter in the Sun Valley area.

2. Added two new chapters to the state roster¾The Southeast Idaho Chapter of Trout Unlimited (Pocatello), and the Teton Valley Chapter of TU (Driggs).

3. Provided state chapters with training and materials for effectively raising operational funds.

4. Provided detailed written comments to the Idaho Department of Fish and GameÕs Five Year Fisheries Management Plan.

5. Co-sponsored regional fisheries and public lands conferences.

6. Initiated a number of new fundraising efforts and continued on-going fundraising measures.

7. Developed major donor appeal brochures for on-going campaign.

8. Submitted several grant proposals for on-going and proposed conservation projects.

9. Worked with several conservation organizations on federal and state issues.

10. Communicated TU positions on several coldwater fisheries issues with state and federal agencies and lawmakers.

11. Stepped up media relations efforts.

12. Attended several local fly fishing events with membership recruitment and fundraising materials.

MEMBERSHIP:
ITU membership has grown substantially in the past year. With a decision by the Council to concentrate recruitment efforts toward women, minorities and youth, membership had climbed 30 percent by February 2001, after experiencing a 28-percent growth rate from February 1999 to February 2000. Total membership statewide currently stands at 1,746. The Ted Trueblood Chapter experienced the highest rate of expansion over the year with a 56-percent increase in its membership. The second area of membership focus for ITU involves retention and mentoring of members.

TROUT MAKE DOLLARS AND SENSE

By David Scott

Executive Director

Idaho Trout Unlimited

As conservationists, too often we overlook the one aspect of our work that can help build influential coalitions, sway public opinion and, ultimately, help the fish.

That neglected factor isn’t the aesthetics of clean water, wild trout, outdoor opportunities for ourselves or our progeny. It isn’t the spiritual connection one achieves when surrounded God’s creation. It isn’t the satisfaction of responsible stewardship.

It’s money.

Clean water and healthy fisheries have an enormous impact on Idaho’s economy and it’s about time we, as conservationists, make this fact known in situations in which our natural resources are imperiled, subordinated to majority paradigms, or just plain taken for granted.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 484,000 resident and out-of-state anglers 16 years of age and older spent $280 million in Idaho in 1996 pursuing their sport. This figure exceeds expenditures by hunters and wildlife watchers of the same age during that year by approximately $34 million and $43 million respectively.

Overall, according the USFWS 1996 survey (the most recent year for which statistics are available) in-state wildlife associated recreation expenditures totaled $818 million. These dollars roll over at least three-to-four times, and in doing so provide salaries for working Idaho families, generate sales- and income tax revenue to state coffers, and generally improve the civic life of our communities.

Significantly, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, in its Draft 2001-2005 Fisheries Management Plan, wastes no time in bringing this economic reality to the attention of those who read this document.

In the fifth paragraph of this 300-plus-page draft plan, IDFG “estimates that the recreation and tourism industry is the third largest in the state.” The plan credits angler expenditures with an economic output of more than $461 million and support of “almost 7,000 full-time jobs.”
But that’s not all. A restored salmon and steelhead fishery in Idaho, the plan states, could possibly generate an additional $170 million annually and support about 5,000 jobs. Most of this economic activity, by the way, would occur in Idaho’s smallest communities.

This is the kind of information we must bring to the table when we contest low flows on the South Fork of the Snake River, the environmental impact of the four lower Snake River dams, the management of a dam that leaves scores of trophy fish floundering for water in the Big Lost River.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, always the target of scorn by those who do not always share or appreciate the real value of a clean aquatic habitat and healthy Idaho fishery, was smart to play the economic reality of outdoor recreation so prominently in its draft 2001-2005 Draft Fisheries Management Plan.

For the sake of Idaho’s cold water fisheries, Idaho Trout Unlimited can afford to be no less clever.


Pulling Ourselves up by our own Wader Straps

You have now reached the part of the newsletter where we write about the need to support Idaho Trout Unlimited. Please don’t skip to another article. The work of Idaho Trout Unlimited has significantly expanded in the past few years, as more TU members have become involved working on issues at the state level.

The expansion of conservation projects, education programs and hiring a paid executive director means the costs of Idaho TU have increased significantly. Over time, the State Council has received increased support from TU chapters across Idaho as we recognize the need for a statewide presence to carry the flag on fishery protection issues such as Snake River salmon or bull trout. We have also strengthened financial support through various small grants and other fundraising projects.

Please remember that only $3 of your $30 annual dues to Trout Unlimited comes back to Idaho from the National office. This money is routed back to the chapters, which have increased their support for Idaho Trout Unlimited in the past year to support the Executive Director position. Current funding levels, however, are not enough if we are to continue this statewide effort.

We must raise our own funds to operate. We must pull ourselves up by our own wader straps.

Enclosed with this newsletter is an envelope for contributions. Several options exist for giving. Contributors of $100 or more will receive the new book A Stump Full of Lures. Major donor contributions of $1,000 will also receive the “Bring Back the Natives” limited edition print by Ed Totten.

Whatever amount you can afford to give, rest assured these funds will go toward protection of trout and their waters in Idaho. It is our opportunity to take that extra step and preserve a part of Idaho that is in danger of vanishing as we are discovered.

Trout Unlimited Television to Feature Idaho

Trout Unlimited Television enters its third season this fall. Also known as “TUTV,” the show airs on espn2 across the nation, usually on early Sunday mornings (really early Sunday in western time zones).

For this coming season there will be a distinct Idaho slant to the show. First, two episodes are scheduled to be produced on Idaho streams for the first time: the Teton River and Bear Valley Creek.

The other Idaho role in TUTV will be on the business end, where the Idaho Travel Council and several Idaho companies will be advertising on the show. The Idaho Travel Council is responsible for marketing the state for tourism and recreation promotion, using proceeds from lodging taxes.

Idaho companies expected to be featured in the advertising are Hyde Drift Boats from Idaho Falls, Outcast Sporting Gear and Loon Outdoors both of Boise, and Action Optics of Ketchum. The idea for the Idaho presence comes from LaMoyne Hyde, owner of Hyde Drift Boats and a member of the Idaho Economic Advisory Council.

Albertson’s Community Partners Program

Idaho Trout Unlimited recently applied for and was granted participation in the Albertson’s Community Partner’s Program. Under this program, we can earn up to $7,200 annually for the Trout-in-the-Classroom project.

If you do a majority of your grocery shopping at Albertson’s, ITU will issue a Community Partners card that you then present to the cashier at the store when making a purchase, regardless of how small.

Albertson’s, using a sliding scale each quarter, calculates the contribution ITU receives based upon the amount of sales generated by those using the ITU Community Partners Program card.
The sliding scale is structured on a quarterly basis.

Contributions earned apply only to merchandise sales after all discounts and coupons are applied and do not include sales tax or customer service items, such as lottery tickets, gift certificates, money orders, postage stamps, etc.

Cards must be scanned anytime during the order for the transaction to properly credit to Idaho Trout Unlimited.

Please contact David Scott at 208/424-1251 or by e-mail, davidscott83702@yahoo.org, to request a card. We need full participation by our members if we are to make this wonderful opportunity work for us to its fullest potential.

Fundraising Challenge

We have received a challenge. But it is a challenge of opportunity.

An anonymous (potential) donor has agreed to pledge $1,000 a year for three years as part of ITU’s major donor program. With one contingency: local ITU chapters must recruit, collectively, at least five major donors by the end of this year. Fall short of five and all bets are off.
Addressed to the Idaho State Council, district directors, and current local chapter presidents and local chapter boards, any donor signed up prior to May 20 does not count toward the aggregate goal of five.

“If ITU is to grow stronger in the coming years, it needs to have solid financial support from throughout the state,” said the anonymous donor in a letter dated May 20.
“So I will write out my check as soon as there are five new donors to this program, but no later than December 31, 2001,” the writer noted.

Brochures explaining the ITU major donor program are available by calling (Boise) 424-1251 or sending an e-mail to: davidscott83702@yahoo.com.

The pamphlets describe TU history, Idaho cold water resources, how funds will be expended by ITU, recent conservation projects, national program opportunities, and built-in incentives for making a contribution.

Concern for Snake River Cutthroat

Trout Unlimited has expressed grave concerns regarding this past winter’s flow conditions in the South Fork of the Snake River. Concerns were made known to the Bureau of Reclamation in meetings and correspondence over the winter.

The South Fork supports one of the last remaining strongholds for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout (YCT). The Idaho Department of Fish & Game currently recognizes the South Fork YCT population as the most robust outside of Yellowstone National Park.

Trout Unlimited recommends that the following actions be taken immediately.

1. Completely reassess Palisades Dam and overall Minidoka Project operating protocols so that untenable risks to YCT survival and persistence are avoided. This would require a plan where refill procedures take advantage of the latest technology related to snow-pack adjustments and long-term weather forecasting so that the conservation burden is not placed solely on the backs of native fish.

2. Provide federal funding to thoroughly assess and document the relationship between water flows and YCT habitat availability and quality.

3. Develop a systematic program to alleviate the conservation burden on, and provide certainty for, YCT during low flow and drought years.

It is time for the BOR to show leadership by working with all the various stakeholders to fashion a long-term solution that fully protects a vital natural resource Ð the Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

What Idaho Anglers Think

As part of its development of the 2001-2005 Fisheries Management Plan, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game conducted an opinion survey of anglers statewide. Some of the responses show significant angler support for protection of wild fish and for quality fishing. A perusal of the survey yields the following information:

— 53 percent of anglers would support restricting the number and size of fish caught to protect wild trout populations versus 17 percent who would replace wild trout with hatchery trout and ten percent who would support more small fishing ponds;

— 43 percent believe IDFG should spend more effort on management of wild species, while 47 percent believe the current level is acceptable. Only ten percent believe there is too much emphasis on wild species;

— When asked if one had to release all the trout caught in their favorite trout stream, 57 percent responded they would continue to fish that stream while 38 percent would not;

— Nearly 61 percent would fish a stream or lake if the opportunity to catch trophy trout required catch and release regulations, while 33 percent would not fish such a water body;

— Anglers stated their preferred type of fishing with 33.5 percent preferring fly fishing, 36 percent bait fishing and 30 percent fishing with artificial lures or spinning gear.

Trout Unlimited Launches Native Trout Initiative

By Scott Yates

Director, TU Western Native Trout Program

Since the last newsletter, my activities have included moving my family to Bozeman, Montana, where I will devote my time to galvanizing Trout Unlimited’s native trout efforts in the West. I’m certainly excited about the new program focus, and look forward to working with TU members in Idaho on native trout issues.

I thought I’d use this opportunity to explain in broad terms what we hope this program will entail. The program will exclusively address native resident salmonid issues, and emphasize the importance of biodiversity; healthy trout populations cannot be defined merely in terms of abundance, and full restoration will not occur without reducing genetic introgression and protecting, reconnecting, and re-establishing a wide spectrum of habitats. In order to address native trout threats, TU native trout staff will focus on traditional advocacy routes, and developing innovative solutions to long-term resource problems.

Our efforts will include working with and challenging federal agencies to both develop and implement long-term and scientifically defensible species recovery programs for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed species in a timely fashion. Efforts will also focus on identifying and rectifying high-priority resource problems on federal lands for both ESA-listed and non-listed species. Further, many native trout restoration efforts will occur outside the ESA context, and therefore we will continue to forge creative partnerships with private landowners to provide better protection for our native trout. Finally, all of our efforts will be designed to dovetail with the great work being done by TU members, including Idaho TU programs to protect the gem state’s native species such as the westslope, Yellowstone, and Bonneville cutthroat, bull, and redband trout.

Nowhere in the West do native trout issues ring truer than the state of Idaho. Chapter activities dealing with a mammoth multi-year hydro settlement to protect bull trout (Panhandle), tracking native resident fish movement (Ted Trueblood), and genetic introgression studies and weir projects (Upper Snake River and Southeast Idaho Chapters) are just a few of the important projects that members in Idaho tackle annually. We’re looking forward to working with Idaho members on existing projects where we can, and exploring additional native fish restoration possibilities in the future.

I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce a person many of you already know – Sam Mace. As of February, Sam has been working for TU as our Western Grassroots Coordinator, and will be an important cog in our native trout (as well as Snake River salmon) efforts. Please don’t hesitate to contact either Sam (smace@tu.org) or myself (syates@tu.org) with questions regarding our native trout efforts. We certainly look forward to working with Idaho TU on these issues, and to meeting and talking with members who devote so much of their time to these issues.

Ever in Bozeman? Feel free to contact me at (406) 522-7291. I am finding some good fishing in this part of the world.

From the Idaho Department of Fish and Game

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is taking public input on fishing regulations which can influence fishing rules starting January 1, 2002. Every two years IDFG reviews the Idaho fishing regulations with the public and other interested parties, and in light of new biological information. In recent weeks IDFG has begun its scoping process, soliciting recommendations from the public and running a few ideas we’ve started to develop up the flagpole.

The recently adopted Idaho Fisheries Management Plan, a document to which Trout Unlimited provided significant and valuable input, guides management programs, including regulations. The Plan is the result of significant efforts to assimilate public views on how they want their fishery resources managed, and mesh that with the biological information our management and research programs have accumulated.

Some of the items in the plan can be accomplished with fishing regulations. This includes providing a diversity of angling opportunity, providing increased family fishing opportunities with simple fishing rules, and continue emphasis on quality/trophy and wild trout fishing opportunities. Yet in a 1994 survey, about 70% of anglers indicated they sometimes, or more often, had difficulty knowing the fishing regulations for waters they wanted to fish.

Some of the ideas that folks will have an opportunity to provide comment on are:

1. Creation of a “family fishing” designation for specific waters with simple regulations Ð possibly year-round, no size limits, general limits apply. Designated family fishing waters would be highlighted in the regulations booklet. A number of waters either fit the bill now, or come close to it. The intent is to make it easy for novice anglers to go fishing, with little fear of making a mistake that could cost them a ticket.

2. Standardizing bag limits to limit confusion (for example, having the same general bag limit for trout, walleye, bass, and pike Ð either 5 or 6). This measure could also include eliminating the “bonus brook trout” designation and allowing a 25 fish daily limit on brook trout, as well as reducing the daily limit on whitefish to 25. This reduces the total number of bag limits anglers need to be aware of, allows additional harvest of brook trout, which in many waters pose threats to native species, and reduces the limit on whitefish.

3. Modifying the definition for catch and release to mean the same as “no harvest”. In almost all waters where bait and gear restrictions apply now, “no bait” would be added to require the use of artificial lures and flies as currently defined in the rules. Waters which currently have “closed to harvest” designations would be changed to catch and release, with no new restrictions bait or hooks. This eliminates verbiage in the regulations, and reclassifies species from “closed to harvest” to “catch and release”. The catch and release terminology will be more widespread in the regulations, and we believe may more clearly tell the angler what he has to do with the fish.

4. Redesignation of the winter whitefish season to a winter stream fishing season. Provides for legitimate catch and release fishing for species other than whitefish, also would allow harvest of brook trout. Gear restrictions in place during the general season would also apply under this proposal. The intent is to limit confusion, and provide additional angling opportunity during a period when cold water helps keep hooking mortality low.

These are just ideas, we are anxious to get feedback from the public as to whether these ideas have merit, need some tweaking, need to go back to the drawing board, or be dropped. We are also soliciting fresh ideas for ways to make the fishing regulations more user friendly while maintaining and improving fishing.

After this round of public meetings, weÕll take what information we get, try to find where there is common ground amongst anglers and the biological capabilities of our waters, and draft firm proposals for public review and comment. Ultimately we hope to have publicly accepted proposals that result in protection for Idaho fish, diversified fisheries, and better fishing across the state.

If you have ideas, comments, suggestions, or recommendations on any fisheries management issues, please bring them to me (334-3791; ccorsi@idfg.state.id.us) or to one of the regional fisheries managers (regional office phone numbers are available in the regulations pamphlet). WeÕll look forward to hearing from you.

Two New Chapters

Membership and Organization Update

Membership in Trout Unlimited in Idaho has continued its steady increase to over 1,700 active members. Indeed, the numbers are startling. It reflects a dynamic organization that is becoming recognized as an important voice for conservation of native fish in Idaho.

In February 1999 membership numbers stood at 1,050. One year later membership had increased 28 percent to 1,350. As February 2001 passed membership had continued to surge to 1,800, a 33 percent increase over the previous year! And in the past three months the trend continues with a seven percent increase to 1,922 members.

The increase in membership is due to factors both in and outside Idaho. The national organization has aggressively marketed TU to fly anglers and conservationists across the country. In Idaho the increased visibility and activity of Idaho TU has attracted new members. The addition of new chapters is also an important factor.

In fact, since October 2000 Idaho ranks number two in the nation among the states for locally recruiting the most number of members. We got credit for 120 of the new members. Pennsylvania brought in 121 new members. Good job folks! And welcome new members!

Southeast Idaho Fly Fishers reorganized

Ann and Rob Gregoire attended the Idaho State TU meeting in Mackay in September 2000, symbolizing the return of the Southeast Idaho Chapter. This TU chapter had been been inactive and then in recent years absorbed into the Upper Snake River Cutthroats.

Genetic integrity of the native cutthroat trout in the Blackfoot River is an issue of high concern for this chapter.

Teton Valley Sneaks in

Later in the fall of 2000 Idaho Trout Unlimited was notified that a new chapter was started in Idaho’s Teton Valley. The Teton Valley Chapter is led by Kim Keeley.

The Spud Drive-in was the site for a June 24 membership drive by the Teton Valley Chapter of ITU. About 150 people attended the outdoor showing of “A River Runs Through It” and 30 of those in attendance became new members of TU!

“It’s definitely going to be an annual event,” said chapter president Kim Keeley. “We might even do it at the end of the summer because everyone had a blast.” The evening included a raffle and casting contest.

Teton Valley Chapter members this summer hope to erect permanent bilingual signs at about 10 access spots in the area. The signs will include bilingual information regarding fishing regulations, recent closures, guidelines for fishing in sensitive habitat areas, instructions for keeping dogs under control, and landowner rights.

In August, the chapter will host its major fundraiser of the year, a two-day, overnight, fishing trip on the South Fork of the Snake River. Cost is $2,500 per boat, two people per craft. The event is limited to 12 people and will feature “fancy” meals, a band, and a masseuse. Tickets can be purchased by calling World Cast Anglers at 1-800-0676.

River of No Return Chapter Decommissioned

Members of the River of No Return Chapter have now been absorbed into the Upper Snake River Cutthroats Chapter.

With the new chapter boundaries comes something we can call member realignment.

TU members who live in southeast Idaho counties of Bannock, Bear Lake, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power counties will be assigned to the Southeast Idaho Fly Fishers Chapter. This change will affect a few dozen members who are currently assigned to the Upper Snake River Cutthroats. If you live in these southeast Idaho counties and wish to remain with the Upper Snake River Cutthoats you will need to contact the Idaho TU office at (208) 424-1251 or email: davidscott83702@yahoo.com.

With the advent of the Teton Valley Chapter there will be a relatively small number of TU members will also be assigned to it. This will affect members in Teton County as well as eastern portions of Bonneville County north of the South Fork Snake River below Palisades Dam. If you live in this area and wish to remain with the Upper Snake River Cutthoats you will need to contact the Idaho TU office at (208) 424-1251 or email davidscott83702@yahoo.com.

Finally, the members of the River of No Return have been moved into the Upper Snake River Cutthroats Chapter absorbed (this sounds like a science fiction tale).


 

IDAHO TROUT

IDAHO TU SUMMER/FALL NEWSLETTER 2000

The Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited

IDAHO PANHANDLE CHAPTER TOP IN THE NATION

The 284 volunteer members of Idaho’s Panhandle Chapter of Trout Unlimited were honored by the nation’s leading coldwater conservation organization, Trout Unlimited, on Saturday, August 12th, in Syracuse, New York, for outstanding conservation achievement. The “Gold Trout Award,” TU’s highest award for chapters, recognizes a TU chapter that has made the most noteworthy contribution to the cause of coldwater conservation. More than 20 chapters nationwide competed for the honor.

“TU’s Idaho Panhandle Chapter represents the very best in volunteerism,” stated Charles Gauvin, TU President and CEO. “The Panhandle Chapter provided solid leadership in the Clark Fork River relicensing agreement that all Americans will benefit from. Their results speak volumes for what vision, determination, and sweat equity can do in America.

“To be able to count on these volunteers’ undaunting leadership, knowing their commitment to family and careers, isn’t something Trout Unlimited can ask for, its something we are blessed with.”

The Panhandle Chapter executed successful leadership in the landmark federal hydropower relicensing agreement on the Clark Fork River. Their participation not only resulted in a commitment from Avista Corporation to provide approximately $250 million in conservation funding over the 45-year span of the new licensing agreement, but also set a national precedent for collaborative agreements in future dam relicensing agreements. Trout Unlimited will benefit from this agreement in future negotiations.

In addition to the Clark Fork relicensing, the Panhandle Chapter influenced an impressive range of local conservation issues and projects, including work on Twin Creek, the Moyie River and Trestle Creek, efforts in opposition to the Rock Creek Mine, support for local youth activities, and a number of other community based activities to support fish.

The Panhandle Chapter is also a strong voice in Trout Unlimited’s fight to save Snake River salmon. Despite the contentious nature of the need to breach the four dams on the Lower Snake River, the chapter has not shied away from helping to educate the Pacific Northwest, and sometimes even their neighbors, on the benefits of preserving this magnificent species.

“It is a real honor for us to accept this award on behalf of the members of the Panhandle Chapter,” said Idaho TU Council Chairman Bob Dunnagan. “In a larger sense, we are accepting the Golden Trout Award on behalf of all the folks in North Idaho who have helped us with money, technical assistance, and encouragement. The most gratifying part of our conservation work comes from educating our community and earning our neighbor’s endorsement to keep our rivers and streams healthy and clean for the next generation.”

“The Panhandle’s success with the Clark Fork River relicensing is the best illustration of what a few concerned individuals can do when they reach out to a community. It is clearly one of TU’s most significant conservation accomplishments of the past decade,” said Gauvin. “TU’s strength is driven by our grassroots volunteers both locally and nationally. It is volunteers like those in Idaho’s Panhandle Chapter that position TU at the forefront of community-based conservation solutions that help protect watersheds across America.”

The award to the Idaho Panhandle Chapter as the number one Trout Unlimited chapter in the nation is the third year in a row that Idaho has received Trout Unlimited national awards.

Last year, Idaho Fish and Game Biologist Chip Corsi of Coeur d’ ALene received TU’s national award given to a fisheries professional. In 1998 the Idaho Statesman received TU’s Conservation Communication award for its editorial stance supporting removal of the four lower Snake River dams to restore Snake River salmon and steelhead.

President’s Message

Here we go again

By Robert Dunnagan

In about six weeks I will complete my original two-year term. Looking back, I know we have made great strides and met many of our goals. BUT, and here I go again, we must solicit more money and enlist more members. The list of work is endless; our organizational betterment is in its neophyte phase. Our outreach to non-traditional members hasn’t even begun.

David Scott is working in a volunteer capacity as the state’s Operations Chief. Are we going to hire him? Well, that depends on two things–his work performance over the past six months and MONEY. By the way, I asked David if he wants to continue working out of the kindness of his heart and he assures me that he needs to eat, sleep under a roof, take care of his kids, and fish once in a while.

So what’s this all about? It’s about where we need to go from here. It’s about our future and focus. We must become much more adept at raising funds for the state council in support of the wide variety of challenges that await us down the road. We need to increase our membership so we can better meet the first objective. My goal is to reach non-traditional members.

Ask yourself whether our members should necessarily be anglers. I think not. Because we are a conservation organization we should look for people with an interest in our planet and it’s long-term health. We choose to demonstrate our love of Mother Earth through the coldwater fish, but that’s just our way of reaching out and touching something that is special to all of us. When did you last ask a wild plant society member to come to a chapter meeting? When did you ask someone from your local Audubon Society or The Nature Conservancy chapter to attend a TU meeting? We have a great mission, but we have recruited primarily caucasian males over 50 years of age. When did your chapter last discuss bringing in youth members?

Let me go back to fund-raising. I know this is a difficult task, but we must do it. Talk with your council members and ask them about how we succeeded at building the initial blocks that lead to significant fundraising. Ask how you can become involved both as a fundraiser and as a donor. As an organization, if we can get more folks interested and raise enough cash the work will follow.

OK. Here’s my commitment and challenge to you: David and I will do more than our fair share if you up your work capacity and commitment. One out of every five current members will recruit two new members to a chapter in the state AND get a $100 donation to the council. David and I agree to recruit 20 new members and raise $10,000 by Sept 2001. Watch out because I left room for your four friends who are members to do nothing and they may leave all the work to you. This challenge, if met, will result in 600 new members statewide and $30,000 worth of donations to the council by the fall council meeting in 2001. I agree to hold up my end. Will you give it a go?

Well, that’s where I’m coming from. As always, if you want to visit just drop me an e-mail, letter, or phone call. It’s all on www.idahotu.org that Troy Tvrdy keeps current.

Cheers

BOB

Report From Idaho TU Operations Chief

By David Scott

Operations Chief Idaho Trout Unlimited

Idaho Trout Unlimited for years has considered hiring a paid staff person to oversee and accomplish many of the priorities our organization wishes to achieve. In late April, the ITU State Council appointed me on a volunteer basis as Operations Chief.

Since that appointment, I have been fortunate to visit and meet with many dedicated and hard working ITU members. And I can tell you, we have a terrific organization! I’m very proud to be a part of the TU mission and count myself lucky indeed to represent this organization whenever the opportunity arises.

As we near the fall meeting in Mackay, which I hope many ITU members throughout the state will attend, my highest priority at this point is addressing our urgent need for funds.
By the time you receive this fall newsletter, the officers and board members of your local chapter will have received fundraising brochures asking for financial commitments of $1,000 annually over a three-year period. We have set an aggressive goal of five donations per chapter by the end of the year.

All of us must do our part to meet this goal. The chapter bringing in the most donations will receive a traveling plaque awarded annually to the highest-producing chapter. A special award will be given to the individual ITU member who raises the highest dollar donation through this fundraising campaign.

More importantly, though, is the effect this fundraising drive can have on our mission to “conserve, protect, and enhance the watersheds and cold water fisheries” here in Idaho. This work is important to all of us, but we simply cannot operate at the level we must without this level of financial commitment.

Please, contact your chapter officers for copies of these fundraising brochures and present this opportunity to your friends, family, employer, civic organizations, members of your community with the ability and propensity to support our efforts; really, just about anyone you think can help us achieve our goal.

I would also like to encourage you to send your fishing stories to Shawn Miller for the book he is putting together to help raise funds for Idaho Trout Unlimited. This innovative project not only will help generate much needed revenue, but it’s a wonderful opportunity for each of us to tell that favorite story nobody believes anyway! The book will also make a very nice birthday gift, Christmas present, or pleasant surprise for that special someone in your life. Please participate in this very worthy project!

The last item I’d like to mention is the Hemingway Chapter of Idaho Trout Unlimited, which just became active again in July after many years of being an officially “inactive” chapter. Please welcome these folks back into the fold by looking up a member whenever you’re in the Sun Valley area.

By the time you read this, the five-year strategic plan for ITU will be completed and presented for the State Council’s review. However, I am always interested in hearing any ideas, suggestions, or activities that you think can make our organization stronger and even more effective for the fish. See you in Mackay. Till then, Keep it Clean!

Trout Unlimited Chapters Report Progress!

Report from the Panhandle Chapter

Financial support summary:

-$4,000 to Idaho State Council Trout Unlimited;

-$2,000 to National TU;

-$1,000 to West Coast Office TU;

-$2,500 to support the Rock Creek Alliance in its efforts to protect water quality in the Clark Fork Basin by opposing the development of Asarco/Sterling’s Rock Creek mine site;

-$500 to Idaho State Council Trout Unlimited for as a challenge to other Idaho Chapters;

-$1,500 for the purchase of several Living Stream aquariums for installation in schools in Bonner County for the Trout in the Classroom Program;

-$650 to purchase 15 starter, rod & reel combos for a Sandpoint CityRecreation beginning fly-fishing class that the Panhandle Chapter will help deliver. Rods will be placed in the library for check-out in the City Recreation program;

-$500 to help sponsor the Pend Oreille Water Festival for Bonner County elementary students;

-$250 to the Tri-State Implementation Council, to monitor water quality in Lake Pend Oreille;

-$100 to support the Bonners Ferry Fishing Clinic and purchase of additional rod and reel outfits for prizes.

-$100 to support the Priest Lake Fishing Clinic. Money is used to purchase t-shirts and prizes for children attending the event.

In addition, members of the chapter participated in the following projects:

-Held our 19th Annual Spring Fever Fundraising Banquet, netting more than $13,000

-Was awarded a $50,000 grant for the Trestle Creek Watershed Conservation Project (see article);

-continued support in the breaching of the four lower Snake River dams;

-joined The Nature Conservancy in a clean-up and work day at Gamlin Lake;

-officially commented on the Iron Honey DEIS;
-Built a large fish ladder in Bruin Creek a tributary to St. Joe River.

We are currently applying for an Embrace a Stream Grant to work on Kickbush Slide. Kickbush Slide is a cutslope failure that has continually slumped for years. The sediment runs into main Gold Creek (a tributary to Lake Pend Oreille, on the south end of the lake). During fall rains, the sediment is deposited on bull trout redds. The proposed project will stabilize the slope and fix the problem.

Gold Creek is the second most important spawning stream to Lake Pend Oreille. An Embrace A Stream grant would complement Forest Service and Avista funding. This project will be expensive (more than $200,000). But sedimentation is causing direct take of bull trout by choking redds. Fixing this will immediately improve conditions for spawning fish. In addition to bull trout, Gold Creek supports westslope cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and spawning kokanee.

Report from the Magic Valley Fly Fishers

 

Our election of officers took place in May (we are out of step with TU on our elections but its how we have been doing it for years). President: Les Reitz; V.P.-vacant (no candidates came forward); Treasurer: Robert Norman: Secretary/Newletter Editor: Ben Collins.

Established a $500 scholarship with the College of Southern Idaho for a deserving student who will enroll in the college’s fisheries management program this fall. The scholarship, named the “Reul Stayner Memorial Scholarship,” is in honor of the Twin Falls fishing legend, Reul Stayner. Reul invented the Stayner Ducktail, among other contributions. He died in 1996.

Ardele Hansen, past president of the MVFF, donated a kidney to her co-worker who was suffering from adult diabetes. This took place at the LDS hospital in Salt Lake the second week in June. Both are doing very well.

We had our first outing at Mountain View Reservoir June 3 & 4 and were somewhat disappointed at what appeared to be lockjaw with the fish. However, the weather was outstanding and we had a great potluck dinner.

We just concluded our Henry’s Lake outing and got another dose of lockjaw. Winds hampered staying on the lake in the afternoon, although a few of our die-hards stayed with it from dawn ’til dark and came up with 20-30 fish/day. Interestingly enough, no one pattern seemed to dominate. Fish were taken on scuds, damsels, leeches. One person said he must have tried 50 different flies!

The big event was our Third Annual Family Fly Fishing Clinic held on free fishing day June 10th, at Niagara Springs State Park in cooperation with the Division of State Parks. Its a hands-on event where anyone from the public can learn how to tie flies, cast, tie knots, and maybe even catch a fish.

We supported the Snake River Marina in Burley by helping with their”fishing day.” Several members demonstrated fly fishing at the May 28th event.

We sponsored a ladies only “knot tying and casting clinic” near Twin Falls. The clinic was held at the request of some of the women in the club who wanted some individual attention to help better their flyfishing prowess.

Several members also participated in a “Water Awareness Day” at the College of Southern Idaho on May 3. This was an event sponsored by DEQ and about 500 sixth graders came to exhibits on the campus to learn more about the importance of water to Idaho. Of course fly fishing is of paramount importance and demonstrates the need for pure, cold water. We were on hand to make this point and let the kids try their hand at fly casting. Ñ Ben Collins

REED GILLESPIE CHAPTER REPORT

It has been a relatively quiet time in the west central Idaho mountains for the Reed Gillespie Chapter.

Once again we did the net pen project. It is great PR within the community. Several parties cooperate in the project. Idaho Fish and Game supplies around 5,000 rainbow juveniles and the food. The city of McCall insures and maintains the city docks where the net pens are located. Our job is to coordinate a feeding program with local merchants and maintain the “bubble gum” machine that dispenses fish food for the public to feed. We will do the end of season release into Payette Lake just after Labor Day.

We resume our regular meetings the third Thursday of September with a BBQ and fish tales. Monthly board meetings are the first Thursday. Ferne Krumm

Ted Trueblood Chapter Report

Year 2000 started with a bang when we put on a fly fishing seminar with the Boise Valley Fly Fishermen and the Boise Valley Woolly Buggers. This was the third year for such an event. In 1999 we averaged about 70 people, but in 2000 we had 600 to 700 people attend the seminar at Boise State University. We will hold the event again, but in a larger ballroom in January 2001.

The ninth annual conservation banquet was a success. We were pleased to have TU’s Dave Nolte on hand, as well as new Fish and Game Director Rod Sando and BLM State Director Martha Hahn.

In May we returned to Silver Creek, a tributary of the Middle Fork Payette River, for our riparian improvement project work. A later weekend project in the Squaw Creek watershed, to improve bull trout habitat was cancelled due to the forest fires.

A major highlight of chapter accomplishments this year was our being awarded two Embrace A Stream grants. One is for contruction of a side channel on the Boise River at the east end of town in the Harris Ranch development. The other is a research project where we will put radio tags on westslope cutthroats in Bear Valley Creek.

Hemingway Chapter Gets Reorganized

Efforts to reactivate the Hemingway Chapter in Idaho’s Wood River Valley have succeeded. Idaho TU held an organizational meeting for area residents interested in reactivating the Chapter on June 13. More than two dozen people showed up for the meeting.

New Chapter President John Hardin reports on getting the Hemingway Chapter up and running once again. “We have a tremendous amount of support from some of the current members, some new prospective members and others in the community who have the experience and talent and are willing to lend their assistance. The only glitch we have at present is simply one of time. This summer has been extremely busy for all of us. We decided to wait until after the Labor Day holiday to really get going so that people would have time to devote to this important endeavor.”

The Hemingway Chapter may have some involvement with a new project on Elkhorn Creek as their first undertaking. Discussions have occurred with the Wood River Land Trust (the group spearheading this effort) and Trent Jones of the Nature Conservancy (also a TU member), and it looks like an interesting project.

Upper Snake Cutthroats Are Active

In March, several Upper Snake Cutthroats testified at the Corps of Engineers hearing on salmon recovery in the Columbia Basin.

In April, the Seventh Annual East Idaho Fly Tying Expo was held at the Shilo Inn in Idaho Falls followed by our annual banquet.

Later that month, for the eleventh consecutive year, was the annual Salmon River Spawning Improvement Project at the North Fork Ranger District of the Salmon-Challis National Forest. We assist The Forest Service in stream habitat improvement for anadromous and native fishes. Work involves fish passage in blocked streams, building log plunge pools to provide cover, and in some cases stabilizing stream banks to prevent further erosion. Participants consist of ten to 20 people from the Idaho Falls area, plus a like number from the Salmon area.

One more major event this summer was August 4-5, the Outdoor Expo, “Idaho Goes Wild,” held at the Eastern Idaho State Fair Grounds at Blackfoot. It was a huge success. Channel 6 reports 15,000 visitors were counted through the gate. Our T.U. Booth was busy non-stop, both days, as were our new casting ponds. We exposed a lot of kids to fly-tying and casting. And this was a non-fly fishing crowd for the most part. If we are to have trout and their wild places in the future, we need the kids of today to take an interest as adults tomorrow.

The weekend before the Idaho TU State Council meeting our chapter will be working at the Nature Conservancy Flat Ranch Preserve at Henry’s Lake, doing willow planting, and fencing improvement. And later in September we’ll be doing the same on the Blackfoot River!

Trestle Creek Bull Trout Have a Fighting Chance

The Idaho Panhandle Chapter was awarded a $50,000 grant for the Trestle Creek Watershed Conservation Project to purchase conservation easements and fee title interests on 200 acres of private lands in the Trestle Creek watershed. The purchase will allow the Panhandle Chapter to secure and protect crucial habitat for bull trout.

Trestle Creek is recognized as one of the most important bull trout spawning streams in the Pacific Northwest, hosting an annual run of 500-1,000 fish, which represents 30 – 50 % of the adult spawners from Pend Oreille Lake. In 1998, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed bull trout as a “threatened” species. A comprehensive Bull Trout Problem Assessment cited residential development as the primary threat to the integrity of the Trestle Creek watershed and its continued suitability for bull trout.

Idaho Trout Unlimited Book

Fellow Trout Unlimited Members this is a call to arms! I am asking that you use your arms to connect to your hands to grab a pen and start writing. The State Council has asked me to edit a book of stories written by Idaho Trout Unlimited Members that can be sold as a fund raiser for the State Council. So all of you budding Ernest Hemmingways, here is a chance to show your talents. Here are the rules;

1. The first five submissions from each region are automatically accepted. There are six regions around the state. Our goal is to have 25-35 stories in the book. If we do not meet the five story criteria from each region, extra stories from other regions will be selected at the editors discretion.

2. Stories, essays and poems are requested. They probably will pertain to fishing but that is not a hard and fast requirement. Manuscripts should not exceed four pages. Again, this is a suggestion. If you feel you have written the Great American Short Story and it is seven pages long, send it.

3. Stories may be edited for length. We hope to do this without materially affecting the content.

4. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2000. We hope to get a reminder letter to you within the next 60 days, but the earlier the response the better. (See Rule #1)

So lets get going. If you have something already written, dust it off and mail it. If not now, when?

Send your manuscripts to:

Shawn Miller,
P.O. Box 2469,
McCall, 83638.
If you have any questions, call me at (208) 634-5433; e-mail is milwel@cyberhighway.net. Ladies and Gentlemen, start your pencils!

Regards,

Shawn

TWIN CREEK PROJECT

The Twin Creek project is currently underway. The stream is being enhanced and in some areas relocated to its original position. This is one of the larger stream rehabilitation projects taking place in the Pacific Northwest. The Panhandle chapter is proud that our efforts brought together a private landowner, Idaho Fish and Game and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to restore Twin Creek.

The Idaho Panhandle Chapter was awarded a $10,000 EAS grant to restore habitat for threatened bull trout on Twin Creek. Habitat was damaged in the past by agricultural practices that transformed this spawning and rearing habitat to cattle grazing pasture. The $10,000 EAS grant was supplemented with funds from Avista as part of the mitigation for the two lower Clark Fork dams. FWS contributed design funds and IDFG personnel assisted with planning and implementation. The private owner supplied equipment and operators. With everyone working together it looks as though we will chalk a few points up for the bull trout.

TU COMMENTS ON HENRY’S FORK WATER PROJECTS NEGOTIATIONS

The Idaho and Wyoming TU Councils recently issued a position statement on the proposed transfer of ownership of portions of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Minidoka Project, which affects the Henry’s Fork.

The position statement expresses concern over a draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), and strongly supports the process to develop a concensus that protects cold water resources. Negotiations among the Henry’s Fork Foundation, the Fremont-Madison Irrigation District and the Fall River Rural Electric Coop resulted in a Draft MOA concerning transfer of these federal facilities (including Island Park Dam) to private ownership.

Trout Unlimited’s interest in transfer of Minidoka Project facilities is due in large part to the effect these facilities have on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. In fact, in 1999 TU published its Guide to America’s 100 Best Trout Streams, in which TU members voted the Henry’s Fork as the best trout stream in the country.

TU is confident that the approach taken by the Henry’s Fork Foundation, the Fremont-Madison Irrigation District and the Fall River Rural Electric Coop could ultimately lead to a transfer that enhances the public benefits of the Project and the associated river system. We support the efforts made to enhance the fishery resources of the Henry’s Fork. We support the concept of ownership change for the Transferred Facilities as a means to improving aquatic habitat in the Henry’s Fork, and enhancing other public benefits of the project. As the Draft MOA stands, however, the benefits are too uncertain and the potential costs are too high for TU to support. Therefore, TU does not support the Draft MOA as it has been negotiated and presented to the public.

Trout Unlimited suggests that after wide circulation of the Draft MOA and compilation of comments, additional negotiations occur on an additional MOA II. This new round should include, at a minimum, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Henry’s Fork Watershed Council, affected state and federal agencies, and members of the affected public. The results should be subjected to an EIS and Endangered Species Act review. Only after that that process is complete would seeking Congressional approval be in order.

Trout Unlimited commends HFF, FMID and FRREC for their creativity, initiative, and diligence. We think that the transfer outlined shows great promise for being a “win-win” solution. While there are a number of unresolved issues, the prospects for reaching acceptable solutions are great.

Idaho Water Soverignty Requires Innovation

When the Idaho Supreme Court last fall ruled that Forest Service Wilderness Areas are entitled to a reserved water right of all unallocated waters, this state’s political establishment raised a hue and cry. Soon thereafter, one Supreme Court Justice was sent packing by the voters. Yet there remains the irony that maintaining the status quo of state water laws will ultimately undermine state sovereignty over water.

Idaho continues to change. The population and economy grows. The public desires instream flows for fish, wildlife and water quality. Growth in the Boise valley and other areas of the state means a conversion from irrigation to municipal and industrial water use. Private hydroelectric dams are up for relicensing, and alternative hydro operations are issues on the table. Endangered Species Act listings creates demands with some legal muscle behind it.

Meanwhile, current state water laws are stuck in neutral. Institutions less able to respond to public needs. Rather than fight the tide of change in the courtroom in cases largely spurred by the massive Snake River Basin Adjudication, we need to modernize Idaho water law to respond to changing needs, especially instream flows for fish and wildlife. Some federal claims for reserved water rights could be settled if instream flow water rights could be in the name of the landowner and not just the state government — the current law in Idaho. Similarly, the ability for a water right holder to donate or sell a portion of a water right for an instream flow need should also be legalized. Finally, the threat to Idaho water flows from the Nez Perce claims can be most effectively addressed by breaching the four lower Snake River dams in the state of Washington. The state government should embrace these kinds of changes in order to maintain state control over water.

Our success of the relicensing agreement for Avista’s Cabinet Gorge and Noxon dams is based on the recognition that changes in operations must occur to be more responsive to fish and wildlife needs. Under this agreement, we were able to work through a thorny water rights issue with the State of Montana in order to reach a settlement.

The of the Idaho Power dams on the Snake River will require changes in dam operations, as well as other actions (e.g., money) to improve water flows, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat.

Modernizing state water laws will assist in making negotiated relicensing efforts a success for ratepayers and for the environment. But unless Idaho water law catches up with modern realities, there will be little choice then to cheer for court decisions like the one on Wilderness water rights.

Accomplishments of Idaho Trout Unlimited

Here is a summary of Idaho TU activities between August, 1999 and July, 2000.

Chief of Operations: The council, at our spring meeting, “hired” David Scott as an interim volunteer employee. David accepted and the council was able to provide about $4,000 in support funding to help cover part of David’s out of pocket costs.

This is a major step forward for Idaho and one that we have been working toward for a number of years. To achieve our ultimate goal we need support from the National Office in the form of funding, training, and leadership.

Membership: The membership target for the year of a 20% increase was exceeded. Membership during this period went from about 980 members to more than 1,400.

The Hemingway chapter (#584) in Sun Valley was moved from inactive status to current and active with a fine group of leaders filling the officer roles. Work on reactivating the Nez Perce chapter is on-going, but not successful at this point. Work to establish a new chapter in the Portneuf Valley is on-going.

Restoration Projects: The bread and butter of ITU chapters are restoration activities for coldwater streams and upland habitat. Among the projects completed, initiated, or ongoing are: Twin Creek (Panhandle), Twin Creek (Upper Snake), Boise River, Lemhi River, Salmon River, Henry’s Fork Flat Ranch, Colburn Creek, Silver Creek, Bear Valley research, Gamlin Lake and many others.

Home Rivers: Work and meetings to establish a home river initiative for the Upper Snake River in Idaho has progressed. Implementation and raising funds are the next steps in this process.

Fund Raising: The Panhandle Chapter has received a $50,000 grant for protection of Bull Trout habitat as part of the Lower Clark Fork River mitigation work.

ITU has successfully bid on a major bull trout education project. Funding at the $40,000 level has been approved for this project, which targets elementary and secondary students and the general recreation community between Spokane WA. and Missoula, MT. The state council will receive approximately $5K in base funding from this project, which will extend for many years.

Training: Two council members attended leadership training during the past year. ITU has done most of the work necessary to have a successful fall training session for leaders in Mackey.

Hydro Issues & Activities: ITU was involved in numerous hydro and dam issues during the year. The Council President is a member of the board of directors of Save our Wild Salmon, a national coalition advocating the removal of the four lower Snake River dams. Approximately 45 Idaho TU members attended public meetings and presented testimony regarding the Lower Snake dam removal.

The Hells Canyon and Bear River Hydro projects continue to require close attention from members. The Fremount-Madison District proposal evolved into a position statement from TU concerning the Henry’s Fork (see related article).

Special Activities: ITU has been intimately involved in a project to develop a westslope cutthroat trout conservation agreement with a major timber company for their holdings of 750,000 acres in north central Idaho. Additional efforts with other resource extraction industry people are currently on-going.

Trout In the Classroom: ITU chapters and the council have more than 15 living stream fish tanks in classrooms statewide. Each of these tanks represent a substantial effort on the part of local chapter folks to raise funds, contact teachers, purchase supplies and materials, and assure that the teachers have appropriate support for this classroom science project that teaches students about fish and fish habitat.

Public Dialogue: ITU provided finical support to assist several fish related meetings this year, inlcuding the Whirling Disease Foundation for a meeting in Coeur dÕ Alene, the Andrus Center for Public Policy on the future of public lands, and the America Fisheries Society symposium on introgression in cutthroat trout.

Long Term Strategic Planning Activities: The current ITU strategic plan will lapse in December. Work is progressing smoothly on revising and updating this plan for the fall council meeting.

ITU Educational Endowment: During the year this endowment increased from less then $2,000 to more than $6,000 invested in the endowment. Current plans for increasing the amount of this fund seem to be progressing smoothly and added commitments have been received.

Boise River Stream Restoration

A project of high public visibility on the East End of Boise has been awarded funding from Trout Unlimited’s national Embrace-a-Stream (EAS) program. The Ted Trueblood Chapter is cooperating with Harris Ranch, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Boise City Parks Department to restore side channels to the Boise River.

The new side channel of the Boise River will provide spawning, rearing and over-wintering habitat for fish, all factors which are limiting to the fishery of the Boise River. This new side channel would be about one mile in length. There is also potential to add an additional 1.5 miles of additional channels in the area.

The creek would be constructed as a part of the Harris Ranch development and originate within a planned riverfront natural park (to be owned and managed by the City of Boise) at the upper end of the proposed development. The creek would utilize a side channel diversion to provide quality flows to a river system that otherwise has extreme variations and lack of suitable spawning habitat. Construction of the side channel is slated to occur in 2001.

Westslope Cutthroat Research in Bear Valley Creek

The Ted Trueblood Chapter gained Embrace A Stream grant support on an important research project. The Lowman Ranger District of the Boise National Forest has initiated a study of migratory habits of westslope cutthroats in the Bear Valley Creek system. EAS funding will help pay for radio tags to be inserted in adult cutts. The fish will be tracked from the air to determine where westslope cutthroats range in the upper Middle Fork Salmon River in central Idaho.

In addition to the grant, donations by TU members and outfitters who work the Middle Fork of the Salmon River have also helped with the financial support of this research project.

No Easy Answers for Snake River Salmon

The Low-Hanging Fruit Has Been Picked

The Western Office of Trout Unlimited is currently reading and digesting the latest update to the federal government’s “kick Snake River salmon and steelhead in the teeth” campaign. The recently released key documents are better known as the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) draft Biological Opinion (BiOp) and joint federal agency draft “All-H” recovery program for Endangered Species Act (ESA) – listed species in the Columbia River Basin.

Six years ago, U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Marsh admonished NMFS for its weak Snake River salmon recovery efforts, explicitly stating that the federal program was “too heavily geared towards a status quo . . . when the situation literally cries out for a major overhaul.”

Ignoring the advice of Judge Marsh, the latest federal documents are the product of six years of deep thoughts from NMFS, but equate to little more than incremental changes to Columbia River hydro operations, speculation regarding the benefits of unproven recovery measures, and mushy timelines.

The bottom line: the conservation burden for recovering Snake River salmon and steelhead is again fallen directly on the backs of the fish.

The general theme of the proposed federal program prioritizes actions based on the likelihood that all stocks would benefit from a particular action. Such a “multi-species” approach (i.e., emphasize conservation programs that benefit all stocks in the Basin) makes theoretical sense as part of a comprehensive recovery program and sounds good on paper. But it removes neither the legal burden to ensure both the survival and recovery of Snake River fish, nor the duty to identify and develop a program to address the specific mortality factors affecting each listed stock in the Columbia River basin.

Therefore, while estuary and tributary habitat measures and hatchery production curtailments will undoubtedly provide benefits to wild Snake River fish and should be encouraged, such a strategy does nothing to remove and cannot overcome the biggest life history bottleneck for these fish: the mortality associated with traversing both down and up eight federal dams in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Furthermore, transferring projected survival benefits from one life history stage (i.e. hydro) to another (i.e. habitat) to avoid dealing with difficult social and political issues related to dam removal lacks scientific basis. In essence, NMFS and the other federal agencies are proposing to allow “incidental take” by the hydropower system of up to 88% for fall chinook, 54% for steelhead, and 43% for spring chinook while putting the gaff to recreational and tribal fisherman and some private landowners whose impacts are miniscule compared to that of the dams. These allowable levels of incidental take are not much different than current requirements.

In sum, the draft BiOp and All-H documents will not result in a complete overhaul of the existing system. The documents are merely a federally endorsed tune-up, and are grounded in the faulty assumption that the region – and the salmon – have time to tinker while the heart of the problem for wild Snake River salmon and Steelhead, the four lower Snake dams, continues killing salmon.

The Administration is saying that we have time – 5 to 10 years, maybe longer – to cobble with habitat improvements and other fringe protective measures before we must make any serious decisions. For Snake River salmon and steelhead, we have habitat and aquatic sanctuaries. It is just either blocked by the four lower dams or buried underwater behind them.

With the federal government sold on a not very aggressive “aggressive non-breach” scenario to save Snake River stocks, it is obvious that other pressure points in the Columbia River Basin must now be seriously considered. Idaho Power’s three dam Hells Canyon Complex is currently moving through early relicensing stages, and many participants are growing increasingly frustrated with the rate at which information related to big ticket items such as flow and operational scenarios and fish passage plans are being researched and developed. Developing and analyzing this information is especially important in light of the federal BiOp’s failure to address the enormous benefits of restoring a large amount of fall chinook spawning and rearing habitat by removing the four lower Snake River dams. Without lower Snake River dam removal,there is no way to free up more mainstem spawning habitat for fall chinook without substantially modifying the current way in which the Hells Canyon Complex is configured and operated.

Anytime the primary obstacle to species restoration is ignored, the burden for recovery passes to the next available mortality factor, somebody upstream, or whatever is politically palatable. The good news for the fish is that there isn’t necessarily a nexus between what is “politically palatable” and what is legally defensible. The easy things to do for fish have already been done. Most of the “low-hanging fruit” has been picked in the Columbia River Basin. Eventually, the federal government must defend their plan in a legal forum and explain which substantive management actions ensure not only that specific hydroelectric operations do not threaten the survival of Snake River fish, but also that ESA-listed stocks are, in fact, can fully recover. At the same time, the feds will have the opportunity to explain their interpretation of Judge Marsh’s ruling six years ago. -Scott Yates

For more information, contact Trout Unlimited’s Western Conservation Office in Portland (503-827-5700).

IDAHO TROUT, the newsletter of the Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited, is published twice a year.


 

IDAHO TU SPRING NEWSLETTER 2000

 


TEACHING THE TROUT STORY IN IDAHO’S SCHOOLS
In the past year Idaho Trout Unlimited has significantly expanded aquatic education in schools across Idaho.

The “Trout in the Classroom” project is a joint effort of the Idaho State Council and local chapters of Trout Unlimited. Expansion of local chapter efforts was the brain-child of former State Council President Shawn Miller of McCall. Last year Miller put the State Council in support of several local efforts that have quietly occurred in some of Idaho’s classrooms.

“Shawn used his charm and persuasive powers to garner government agency support to match TU funds,” says Council President Bob Dunnagan. “Each chapter purchased a fish tank which was placed in one of Idaho’s schools.”

In the past year tanks were purchased and put in place by the Panhandle, Ted Trueblood, Upper Snake, Reed Gillespie, and Magic Valley chapters.

For some chapters, like the Magic Valley Fly Fishermen, the program is not new. The MVFF continues this program in seven Magic Valley Schools: O’leary Middle School in Twin Falls, Jerome Middle School, Fairfield High School, Mini-Cassia Middle School, Murtaugh High School, Kimberly High School, and the Wood River Middle School. The club is working with Clear Springs Food and the West End Men’s Club in Buhl to purchase another unit for a school in Buhl.

The Ted Trueblood Chapter, on the other hand, was a rookie. Fourth Grade teacher Carrie Prange brought the tank into her 4th Grade class room at Riverside Elementary in Boise. “We were very pleased with the results, and we learned as we went along,” said Mrs. Prange.

The Trueblood Chapter has expanded its program to Highlands Elementary and Riverglen Middle School in northwest Boise.

In Idaho Falls, science teacher and Upper Snake Chapter member Joe Timchak placed the tank in the school library at Taylor View Middle School. Some Snake River fine- spotted cutthroat were placed in the tank. Several students conducted class projects, when inspired by seeing the native fine-spotted “cutts” swimming in the tank.

Meanwhile, the Panhandle Chapter in Sandpoint and the Reed Gillespie Chapter in McCall both report positive results with the new fish tanks the placed in local schools.

Presidents Message: How are we doing?

By Robert Dunnagan

In the last newsletter I set some goals and targets for the Idaho State Council and myself. I have revisited them and this is what I see.

We’re all on e-mail and that includes Shawn Miller—way to go Shawn! This is both good and bad: good for me because it saves money and time, bad for those who are inundated with my e-mails and reminders. All in all I believe that communications between the Council, the chapters, and members has improved markedly.

WORK PRODUCTION — almost everyone exceeded what was expected and some decided to no longer participate, in some cases because of the workload. I hate to lose old hands; however we welcome new board members. I consider turnover on the board as an opportunity to mentor folks to new challenges for helping fish.

INCREASED MEMBERSHIP—our increase is great and I now recognize that my target of increasing membership by 20% was unrealistic based on current performance. The current state roll includes 1,300 members, which is an increase of 25% in members since last year! Great job folks! Welcome new members! Continued efforts can add another 50-80 members by Sept. 2000.

RAISING MONEY FOR THE STATE COUNCIL AND CHAPTERS — we’re better off today then we were yesterday but, as you might suspect, we need to do more to raise more money. Ben Collins worked hard on the “non-raffle-raffle.” “Experts” told us that 10% of the membership would be willing to participate in this sort of a fundraiser——-NOT! For all the effort that Ben put into this action the return was a dismal 0.5 of 1% or 1/20th of the expected participation. This year we’ll look at some different ways of increasing funds so we can meet long-term goals and provide more help for the fish.

The ITU EDUCATIONAL ENDOWMENT is growing slowly, but it’s growing. Anyone interested in purchasing an Ed Totten Print can preview that print on the council’s or panhandle chapter web site, or see page 11 of this newsletter. They cost $100, and 100% of that money goes into the endowment— no shipping and handling charge! While a high priority has not been met, we have accumulated additional funds that have been earmarked for a PAID EMPLOYEE. Meeting this target will be a primary focus at our spring meeting in Moscow, and I think we have a real chance of achieving our goal by the end of 2000.

ITU needs to fill vacant council positions. As it stands at this writing we have no vice president and no one has stepped up and accepted the opportunity (work) of moving up to the presidency which I will vacate as of the Sept. 2000 fall meeting. Any takers? All you need is time, energy, an e-mail connection and some money to cover costs. If you are willing and able, give me a call and we can discuss the levels of work required.

Many of the other items accomplished by chapters and the council are covered in articles included in the newsletter. I see our next push as an updating and revising of the strategic plan. Any planners out there who are willing to take this on as a challenge for future fish?

All in all, this has been a positive year with some expectations being reached or exceeded and others that did not hit the mark.

Please feel free to contact me with your observations, concerns, and suggestions.

Idaho Biologist Receives National Conservation Award

Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho native, Charles (Chip) Corsi was recently recognized nationally for his contributions to American fisheries by the 100,000-member conservation organization, Trout Unlimited. Corsi was nominated and selected in the ‘Professional’ category of TU’s Trout Conservation award series for those who work in fisheries-related fields.

Charles Corsi is a fisheries biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). Corsi is a leader in designing coldwater resource policies that balance economic interests with fisheries conservation. Corsi also represented the IDFG in the relicensing of two dams on the Clark Fork River in Montana and Idaho, in which TU was an active participant.

“Chip has always put the fish first,” said Robert Dunnagan, TU Idaho Council Chairman. “Trout Unlimited is grateful for all of Chip’s hard work and leadership. He has been a tireless advocate for sound coldwater resource policies and fishery conservation.”

Corsi was among nine individuals and five chapters spanning from Maine to Washington who were recognized for outstanding work in conservation at Trout Unlimited’s 1999 National Convention in Copper Mountain, Colorado in late August. Trout Unlimited, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 1999, is America’s leading coldwater fisheries conservation organization with 500 chapters across the nation.

“The best testament to Trout Unlimited’s commitment to conservation is demonstrated by the level of competition in this year’s award recipients,” stated TU President Charles Gauvin. “TU’s strength continues to be driven by our grassroots volunteers and this year we had an enormous number of award nominees who have had a tremendous impact on coldwater conservation issues, both locally and nationally. With the dedication of these chapters and individuals, TU continues to be at the forefront of community-based conservation solutions that help protect watersheds across America.”

Idaho TU Endorses Fee Increase

Sept. 27, 1999

Nancy Hadley, Chairperson

Idaho Fish and Game Commission

Dear Commissioner Hadley:

On behalf of the members of the Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited and our 1200 members statewide I wish to inform you that we support the hunting and fishing license increase proposal. In addition we believe it would be wise for the Legislature and the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to consider the following items now or at a later date:
1. A substantial increase in the license fees for senior citizens. As we look at demographic and income data there is every reason to suggest that many seniors are capable of paying more then is suggested in the proposal. Perhaps you will agree that the senior fee should be at least one-half of the regular resident fee. It is our view that seniors are both willing and able to pay for their fair share of the benefits derived from the wildlife assets of the state.

2. Trout Unlimited would like to see a “Wild Trout” stamp added to the list of special tags used in this state. What we envision is a special stamp or tag that would be used by anglers in designated wild trout waters. Each of these wild trout streams protects native and wild fish and each has special regulations that are aimed at protecting that segment of the state’s wildlife resource. We are willing to assist in paying for the protection of these waters. Perhaps, with time, the anglers who fish and keep hatchery fish will be willing to help pay for the cost of hatcheries by use of a special tag such as a “catch and keep” tag. At any rate, we are suggesting that those of us who fish for wild and native trout in the designated wild trout waters would like to help pay for that privilege.

3. Idaho Trout Unlimited would like to encourage the legislature to consider returning a portion of the sales tax-revenues that are generated from hunting and fishing activities to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. We suggest that this is both reasonable and appropriate considering that the state’s wildlife resources generated the tax in the first place. I trust that these recommendations will be helpful to you and the other commission members. If I can be of assistance, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Robert D. Dunnagan

RESTORATION ROUND-UP
TU GOES TO WORK FOR IDAHO STREAMS

Each year, mile by mile, streams in Idaho are being restored. Trout Unlimited local chapters across Idaho are part of a larger community of interests who see the value of functioning streams, with robust populations of fish and wildlife. It is the quality of life in Idaho that we seek to protect and to restore.

Here are some examples from the last couple of years of restoration efforts. We start with three projects that Trout Unlimited national office funded in 1998 through the Embrace-A-Stream (EAS) Grant program.

Palisades Creek, Upper Snake River Cutthroats Chapter – $5,000 provided by TU’s EAS grant program will assist in efforts to insure the-long term protection of native trout, the Snake River finespot cutthroat. Actions to be taken include the installation of a new upstream migrant fish ladder (which allows fish to pass dams unharmed) and other instruments designed to permit fish to travel safely and more naturally above and below obstructing dams. The project will prevent fragmentation of the existing population, and ensure the fish can move freely from spawning and rearing areas to the main river.

Lochsa River, Nez Perce Chapter – $3,300 from TU’s EAS goes to Nez Perce Chapter to conduct genetic testing to assess the relationship between resident bull trout populations and migratory populations. Testing will provide insight into the Lochsa River bull trout. It will help determine the extent of impacts on bull trout by other trout populations.

Keno Creek, Idaho Panhandle Chapter – TU’s EAS has granted $5,000 to be used for road obliteration projects that will restore passage and habitat for westslope cutthroat and bull trout. The fish are currently being threatened by unstable road crossings and unstable road fills in Panhandle National Forest. The Idaho Panhandle Chapter will remove 16 road crossings, preventing further sedimentation and road failures that could expose fisheries downstream to tons of sediment.

Two EAS Grants from Trout Unlimited were awarded in Idaho in 1999. Here they are.

Twin Creek, Panhandle Chapter – TU is working with a private landowner, Idaho Fish and Game and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Twin Creek. The Idaho Panhandle Chapter was awarded a $10,000 EAS grant to restore habitat for threatened bull trout. Habitat has been damaged in the past by agricultural practices that transformed this spawning and rearing habitat to cattle grazing pasture.

The $10,000 EAS grant will be supplemented with funds from Avista as part of the mitigation for the two lower Clark Fork dams. The FWS will contribute design funds, and IDFG personnel will assist with planning and implementation, and the private owner will supply equipment and equipment operators.

Henry’s Fork Flat Ranch, Idaho State Council – The Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited received $7,500 to help conserve critical cold water from Twin Creek, a tributary to the upper portion of the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. The upper Henry’s Fork flows through the Flat Ranch, upstream of Island Park Reservoir. Water from Twin Creek had previously been diverted for cattle grazing purposes and the cold water was warmed prior to entering the Henry’s Fork. By piping only the water necessary to water cattle and allowing the main stream to flow directly to the Henry’s Fork, the cold water is preserved for fish. The Flat Ranch was acquired by the Nature Conservancy earlier this decade, and remains a working ranch. River conditions, however, will change dramatically as a different grazing system, critical fencing construction and placement, and riparian planting will help restore this stretch of the watershed.

Several other stream projects of significance have been occurring across Idaho this year.

Colburn Creek, Idaho Panhandle Chapter – Crown Pacific Lumber and Idaho Fish and Game joined TU for a common goal of improving fish and wildlife habitat on the site of the former Crown Pacific sawmill north of Samuels by removing impediments to fish migrating up Colburn Creek and installing fish ladders. A small dam used by the mill and a culvert near it were removed, and a fish ladder was constructed from rock. Since the dam was constructed in the 1940s, fish have been unable to make it upstream. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 17 to celebrate the reopening of the upstream migratory routes.

Little Wood River, Magic Valley Fly Fishers – The MVFF have a contract with the Jerome IDFG Regional office to take care of the “Bear Track Williams” catch and release section of the Little Wood River. Club members removed several thousand feet of old barbed wire fencing over the past couple of years.

Silver Creek (Middle Fork Payette), Trueblood Chapter – Volunteers from TU joined the Emmett Ranger District and Boy Scout Troop 97 to begin work on the Silver Creek Riparian Restoration Project. Volunteers rehabilitated damaged and eroded stream banks in the Silver Creek Plunge area, about 25 miles north of Crouch. The Ted Trueblood Chapter will continue to work with the Boise National Forest on this stream restoration project in 2000.

North Fork Ranger District of the Salmon-Challis National Forest, Upper Snake River Cutthroats Chapter – For the past 12 years dedicated volunteers from the Upper Snake Cutts have traveled to the North Fork Ranger District near Salmon to implement stream restoration projects. In April 1999 the work was focused on more than 30 sites along lower Indian and Squaw Creeks, adjacent to the Ranger Station near Shoup, and just upstream of the Frank Church wilderness. Volunteers have witnessed steelhead running up Indian Creek the past several years.

Little Salmon River, Reed Gillespie Chapter – Riparian improvements along the Little Salmon River and tributaries like Mud Creek were completed using TU volunteers, TU contributed funds, and other funding sources including proceeds from litigation damages won by IDFG from a hazardous materials spill in the late 1980s.

Bear Valley Creek, Ted Trueblood Chapter – Years of continued restoration projects in Bear Valley Creek have reached the point where riparian recovery and improved stream conditions are becoming evident. Volunteers completed work in the fall of 1998, and since then TU and the American Fisheries Society have turned their efforts toward educating people about the work done in Bear Valley through production of a brochure and a table top display.

Three projects have been submitted to TU national for the 2000 grant funding cycle of the Embrace-A-Stream Program. Decisions will be made this spring on these proposals.

Harris Ranch Restoration Project, Ted Trueblood Chapter – A project of high public visibility on the East End of Boise has been proposed for EAS funding. The Trueblood Chapter is cooperating with the land owner and developers, IDFG and Boise City Parks Department in proposing a suite of restoration projects, including side channels to the Boise River, and stream and wetland restoration of two tributaries which flow through the area. The project is identified as a high priority project in the Boise River Resource Management and Master Plan, recently adopted by the Boise City Council. If funded, this project would be one of the most significant urban watershed and fisheries habitat restoration projects of Trout Unlimited in the nation.

Pine Creek, Upper Snake River Cutthroats – Pine Creek is a tributary to the South Fork Snake River. The Upper Snake Cutts have requested EAS funding for a facility on Pine Creek to prevent nonnative rainbow trout from accessing Pine Creek. With weirs and fish traps in place, native Snake River fine spot cutthoats will be able to spawn in Pine Creek unmolested by interbreeding rainbows. Daily attention to the spawning run of cutts will occur from mid-March to mid-May.

Bear Valley Creek Research, Ted Trueblood Chapter and Boise National Forest – The Lowman Ranger District of the Boise National Forest wants to study migratory habits of westslope cutthroats in the Bear Valley Creek system. EAS funding would help pay for radio tags to be inserted in adult cutts. The fish would then be tracked from the air to determine where westslope cutthroats range in the upper Middle Fork Salmon River in central Idaho.

Chapter News From Around the State of Idaho

Report from the Panhandle Chapter

The fly rods are put away for the year, and so it is time to put some thoughts together from way up here in the north country. Since the last issue of Idaho TU’s newsletter, the Panhandle Chapter has been involved in a variety of issues and projects. One of the most exciting events for us this summer was the removal of a small dam on Colburn Creek, a tributary to the Pack River, which in turn flows into Lake Pend Oreille. Our chapter was invited to work with Crown Pacific Corporation and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in this project, which resulted in the removal of impediments that had prevented fish from migrating into the upper portions of the creek. The chapter was also responsible for arranging for the construction and installation of a fish ladder in a nearby culvert. (At its fall meeting, the funding for this ladder was provided by the state council of TU.) These changes within the stream channel should allow for improved access for the bull trout, westslope cutthroat, and mountain whitefish that populate the stream.

The chapter has recently sent out a mailer to all of its members soliciting e-mail addresses so that we will be able to better communicate with them. It is our hope that this will allow interested members to remain more informed about the chapter’s needs and activities, and result in some members becoming more involved.

In addition, the chapter now has its own web site, which can be accessed through the national site (www.tu.org). On the site you can find information about chapter activities, as well as items which we have developed for sale, like some nice hats and shirts with a cutthroat trout logo. Also for sale is a print commemorating the Clark Fork dam relicensing process. This print, by Ed Totten from Montana, shows a beautiful view of the Clark Fork and its native salmonid species, namely bull trout, westslope cutthroat, and mountain whitefish. The proceeds from the sale of prints is dedicated to the Educational Endowment that has been established by the state council. Check the print out on the web site. It would look good in anyone’s home or office.

The chapter voted in the spring of this year to provide $4,100 in financial support for the state council. It also voted to challenge the other chapters in Idaho to increase their funding of the state council, approving an additional $2,500 in funding contingent upon matching contributions from other chapters. As of early November, the Ted Trueblood Chapter has accepted $1,500 of the challenge. Later, the Reed Gillespie Chapter pledged $500, leaving an additional $500 available for other chapters to take advantage of. The final date for this challenge has been extended until the end of the year.

We have scheduled our Spring Banquet for April 1, 2000. For any of you who may be in the area at that time, please consider attending. It always seems to be a successful evening for a good cause. Well, that’s about it for now from the north country. — Ron Forsberg, President, Panhandle Chapter

Report from the Magic Valley Fly Fishers

Here is a list of activities the Magic Valley Fly Fishers conducted in calendar year 1999:

–Sheep Creek Outing May 8 & 9

–Henry’s Lake Outing July 10 &11

–So. Fork of Boise Outing August 14 & 15

–Stanton Crossing Outing September 11 & 12

–Annual Picnic September 16

Other Events:

–Second Annual Fly Fishing Clinic on Saturday, June 12th. The Magic Valley Fly Fishers and the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation held a free fly fishing clinic at Niagara Springs State Park. Club members manned stations to teach people fly casting, how to tie flies, how to get in and fish from a float tube, and let them attempt to catch some planted fish with their newly learned skills. A concessionaire from Wendell served lunch. About 150 people went through the clinic. IDF&G biologists also had an aquatic insect display so the public could understand various hatches and know a few insects. Idaho Rivers United was also on hand to explain and give information on the plight of the Snake River salmon and steelhead runs.

–Trout-in-the-Classroom Program. The MVFF continues this program in seven Magic Valley Schools: O’leary Middle School in Twin Falls; Jerome Middle School; Fairfield High School; Mini-Cassia Middle School; Murtaugh High School; Kimberly High School; and, the Wood River Middle School. Clear Springs Foods and the Buhl West End Mens Club purchased a chill unit that is being set up in Buhl High School. Clear Springs Trout Farm will furnish the eggs. MVFF furnished the teaching manuals.

–A total of 167 folks attended the MVFF 2000 annual Banquet and Membership driveFebruary 5th. It was a super event and attendees took advantage of thesilent auction items, games, and raffle. Jim Teeny put on a great slidepresentation on Fly Fishing for Trout, Salmon and Steelhead. The granddoor prize was won by MVFF member Dee Smith–a 9′ 9″ 5wt. Loomis rodwith reel and line. The Fly Fisherman of the Year award went to VicePresident, Les Reitz.

–Adopt-a-Wetland- The MVFF have a contract with the Jerome IDF&G Regional office to take care of the “Bear Track Williams” catch and release section of the Little Wood River. Club members removed several thousand feet of old barbed wire fencing over the past couple of years. Other conservation projects are being discussed.

That is about all I can think of for right now.

Ben Collins

Ted Trueblood Chapter Review

Another busy year was had for the Trueblood Chapter in 1999. Our banquet was a financial success, and then the Board went crazy in the fall and in one meeting spent a good share of the proceeds on a number of worthy items:

–Two more schools were added to the Trout In the Classroom Program, and we had a nice article in the Idaho Statesman in early February this year;

–We voted to support salmon advocate Reed Burkholder’s tireless efforts on behalf of Idaho’s salmon, but agreeing to pay for some of the travel expenses he piles up through the year;

–We voted $1,500 to go to the State Council to match the challenge from the Panhandle Chapter. Another $500 went to the Idaho Wildlife Federation.

The stream project at Silver Creek on the Middle Fork of the Payette was a success, and we plan a return project the weekend of May 20-21. We also plan a project for Squaw Creek (Emmett Ranger District) in late July.

The joint monthly meetings with the Boise Valley Fly Fishermen are a good way to do business. We and the BVFF joined the Woolly Buggers (the youth fly fishing club in the area) and put on a fly fishing seminar on January 29 at Boise State Univeristy. The turnout greatly exceeded expectations. We had 500 people show up for the fly-tying and the slide shows. It was pretty wild, but we got good visibility for TU and the cause of protecting trout.

Andy Brunelle

Some news on the other Chapters

There were no reports from the Reed Gillespie or the Upper Snake River Cutthroats at this time.

The state council in the past year deactivated the old Portneur Valley Chapter and combined that membership with the Upper Snake River Chapter. The River of No Return and Hemingway Chapters have been placed in inactive status. Each of these actions was taken only after unsuccessful attempts to get someone to provide the needed leadership.

On the flip side there is a strong ongoing attempt to reactivate the Nez Perce Chapter with a new address in Moscow Idaho. An orginizational meeting was help with folks from the Moscow area on Nov 17th and they agreed to meet again in March. All comments were positive.

In addition, a recent meeting was held in Pocatello with over 60 people in attendance, where interest was expressed in reconstituting an active chapter in the southeast part of Idaho. If there are ANY members who would be willing to provide the leadership to reactivate the River of No Return or the Hemingway Chapters, please contact the council president or a member of the board. We will be more then willing to assist in regaining vitality for these areas. By the same token it is certainly possible to start new chapters in areas that currently have no chapters. Again, contact a member of the Council for assistance if you are interested.

Help update Flyfisher’s Guide to Idaho

Anglers and businesses are asked to assist in major revisions and updates of Flyfisher’s Guide to Idaho by Ken Retallic and Rocky Barker. A lot has happened since the acclaimed how-to flyfishing guide was published in 1996. The authors want to make the Year 2000 edition as comprehensive as possible.

Of particular interest to the authors is new information on flyfishing opportunities on northern Idaho waters, including fly hatches, access points or routes, and fishing-related issues.

Information on changes in stream or fishery conditions anywhere in the state, including affects on angler access as a result of the recent spate of high-water floods, also would be appreciated.

New commercial venues are encouraged to contact the authors, including fly shops, shuttle services, outfitters and guides, as well as lodges, bed and breakfast inns and other establishments and services catering to fly fishers.

Long-term businesses that have changed ownership, location or contact information are urged to inform the authors.

Principal contact for revisions of “Flyfisher’s Guide to Idaho” is Ken Retallic. He can be reached at 523-7539. Mail should be sent to 190 S. Corner Avenue, Idaho Falls, ID 83402. His e-mail address is: eken2@aol.com. Rocky Barker can be contacted via his web site at http://www.webpak.net/~rbarker/.

Assistance and information provided will be gratefully acknowledged in the new publication.

Trout Unlimited 2000 Calendar

Saturday April 1
18th Annual Banquet, Idaho Panhandle Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Sandpoint, Sandpoint City Forum.

Saturday April 8
9th Annual Banquet, Ted Trueblood Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Boise, Doubletree Riverside

Fri/Sat April 14-15
6th Annual East Idaho Fly Tying Exposition, sponsored by the Upper Snake River Cutthroats Chapter of Trout Unlimited the Shilo Inn, Idaho Falls.

Saturday April 15
Annual Banquet, Upper Snake River Cutthroats Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Idaho Falls.

Saturday April 29
Spring Meeting, Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited, Moscow.

Friday September 22
Fall Meeting, Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited, Mackay.

Saturday September 23
Training Session for Trout Unlimited volunteer leaders by Sarah Johnson, National Office of Trout Unlimited, Mackay

IDFG FISHERIES MANAGEMENT PLAN 2001-2005 TO BE ADOPTED THIS YEAR

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is initiating work on updating their Fisheries Management Plan for the 2001-2005 time period. In the next few months we will have the opportunity to propose specific policies and management approaches for the Department to adopt.

The Fisheries Management Plan is important because it helps guide future decisions on fishing regulations. These decisions can include more protection for wild fish, more waters with quality fishing regulations.

The Upper Snake River Cutthroats have already produced a set of recommendations for fisheries management in eastern Idaho. Other chapters will soon be at work doing the same. Trout Unlimited members should take the time to participate in public open houses and opportunities for written comments once Idaho Department of Fish and Game announces a schedule.

OPPORTUNITIES TO SUPPORT TU

The state council recently received a donation of stocks valued at $3,220. This donation is targeted 90% toward hiring a TU State Council employee and 10% to the ITU Educational Endowment maintained at the Idaho Community Foundation.

These funds will be carefully managed until resources are at a level for their use.

There are clear tax advantages of donating stock or other items of value to Idaho Trout Unlimited, as we are a 501(c) 3 organization, and donations are tax deductible. The revaluation of donated stocks (items of value) and the potential capital gains advantage are two additional reasons to support Idaho Trout Unlimited, and the need for more efforts to protect cold water fisheries in Idaho.

TOTTEN PRINT PROMOTION

We are most excited to offer the purchase of a limited edition print by Ed Totten. In commemoration of the collaborative effort that relicensed two dams on the Clark Fork River, Avista Corporation of Spokane, WA (formerly Washington Water Power) commissioned an original painting of the river by artist Ed Totten of Ennis, Montana. The special work of art commemorates the signing of the settlement agreement and shows all of the native salmonid species found in thelower Clark Fork. Avista has donated virtually all of the prints made of the original artwork to the Panhandle Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

The Clark Fork, one of the great rivers of Idaho and Montana, was immortalized in Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It in its closing passage, “The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

Proceeds from the sale of these prints are dedicated to the Idaho Trout Unlimited Educational Endowment. Created by the Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited in 1998, the endowment is intended to provide full assistance for a graduate student in Fisheries Sciences at an accredited Idaho University. The Endowment currently has received about $4,000 toward the goal of $200,000. The prints sell for $100. Clip and mail to Idaho Trout Unlimited, 57 Maxie Lane, Sandpoint, ID 83864)

______ YES, Please send me the Clark Fork Commemorative print.
I have enclosed $100 for each copy of the signed and numbered limited edition print.

NAME __________________________________________________________
ADDRESS __________________________________________________________
CITY _______________________ STATE ___ ZIP __________________

 

 

IDAHO STATE COUNCIL TROUT UNLIMITED
57 Maxie Lane
SANDPOINT, IDAHO 83864
208-263-4433

(fax)815-346-1400
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