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Idaho Council Supports Silver Creek Kilpatrick Pond Restoration Project

Nancy Cooley
Blaine Co. Land Use and Building Services
219 1st Ave. South; Ste. 208
Hailey, ID 83333

RE: Silver Creek Kilpatrick Pond Restoration Project

Dear Nancy,

The Idaho Council of Trout Unlimited (ICTU) and its 1800 members wish to thank the Blaine County commissioners for the opportunity to provide comments on this unique project.

The Idaho Council fully supports the Nature Conservancy and the Purdy family’s efforts to help improve the long term health of the Silver Creek Preserve. The Kilpatrick Pond Project will help address critical issues important to sustaining Silver Creek as a fly fisherman’s destination now and for future generations.

ICTU appreciates the fact that best available science from the University of Idaho and GeoEngineers was used for developing the suggested enhancements that will result from this project.

ICTU feels that implementing this project will conserve, protect, reconnect, and sustain the Silver creek ecosystem and continue to offer diverse recreational opportunities.


Christopher P. Jones
Chairman, Idaho Council of Trout Unlimited

Idaho TU Scholarship Funds Available: Apply Now

Do you know someone who is interested in getting a master’s degree in fisheries or a related field or is already working on such an advanced degree?  And is that graduate student attending an institution of higher education in Idaho?  If so, they are probably eligible for a scholarship from the Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited.

Click on the logo to download a .pdf application scholarship form.<br />Deadline for submitting a scholarship application is April 1, 2012.
Click on the logo to download a .pdf application scholarship form.
Deadline for submitting a scholarship application is April 1, 2012.

The Idaho State Council of TU established the scholarship fund in 1998 thanks to the vision of Bob Dunnagan and others, and after several years of fund raising we grew the account to the level where scholarships can be awarded.

This scholarship is administered by the Idaho Community Foundation.  Idaho TU reviews the applications and makes the decision and the ICF cuts the check to the institution.  ICF also manages the funds and grows them using their investment prowess.

Click on the Idaho Community Foundation logo (above) to visit the scholarship page, scroll and click on Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited Graduate Scholarship Fund, then click to download an application form.

Deadline for submitting a scholarship application is April 1, 2013.

Water plan hits choppy waters

After years of meetings, public hearings, work sessions and draft products, an updated Idaho State Water Plan was transmitted to the Idaho Legislature at the beginning of this legislative session for final review and adoption.

The Idaho Constitution allows the Legislature up to 60 days to adopt the plan as is or make amendments, otherwise the plan goes into effect as is.  Nearly thirty days into the session the House Resources and Conservation Committee held a hearing on House Bill 38 to adopt the plan.  Then, a group of House members decided to rewrite sections of the plan.

These House members worked with lobbyists and lawyers to take out references to climate change,  riparian and wetland habitat, as well as amendment references to Endangered Species Act protected fish like salmon and steelhead.  Many of these topics are in the plan and were shaped in part through participation by Trout Unlimited.

The House Resources Committee held a hearing Friday March 1st to print an amended Water Plan and set March 7th for a hearing on the bill.  The 60-day deadline runs out on March 8th and one report suggests the rewrite stands no chance to replace the submitted plan.  Meanwhile, others have sounded the alarm.

Trout Unlimited is disappointed in the rewrite given our extensive comments and participation in the process with the Idaho Water Resource Board.  We will continue to monitor the situation and alert TU grassroots leadership as events warrant.

After Much Great Work Kim Trotter is Moving On

By Scott Yates

Director, Trout Unlimited Western Water Project


Kim Trotter, the Idaho Director for Trout Unlimited’s Western Water Project, recently announced she has taken the position of Executive Director at the Community Foundation of Teton Valley, an affiliate foundation of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole.


It’s never easy when a long-time member of the TU family decides to move on, and that is certainly true for Kim.  She has expanded our coldwater conservation work, and been a big part of raising our organizational profile in one of our most important trout, salmon, and steelhead states.


Since taking over as Director of the TU Idaho Water Project in 2005, Kim’s work both on-the-ground and overseeing staff and consultant work in places like the Big Lost and Little Lost rivers has been phenomenal.  Trout Unlimited has established solid partnerships with ranchers and farmers in those two quiet but important trout drainages, and it has been instrumental in expanding our Idaho capacity via private, state, and federal project dollars.


I still remember the group of stakeholders – all project partners – she put together for a media day to celebrate TU, rancher, and resource agency success in the Little Lost River.  Senator Crapo attended and was open about his admiration for Kim and the broader group and the fact that the such success was achieved in a drainage with ESA-listed bull trout.  She’s also overseen efforts to ensure that future management discussions about the Henry’s Fork River – including potentially re-building Teton Dam – occur with wild and native fisheries in mind.  No easy task in light of the historical insular tendencies of the southeast Idaho irrigation community.


Kim has also had an impeccable record in terms of hiring staff – she’s managed to put together a diverse and energetic team – I know Peter, Jerry, Sue, and Chad thoroughly enjoyed working with Kim and appreciated her attention to detail and support.  With Peter’s trained legal and policy eye, Jerry busting heads in the Salmon and Chad kicking things off in the Portneuf and Wood, and Sue helping the trains stay on time, Kim has really set the table for future water work in Idaho.  She’s already been tremendously gracious in thinking about her near-term future and helping with the Idaho Water Project transition before starting up full time with the Foundation.


As a fisherman, I want to thank Kim for her work to provide a better future for epic trout rivers like the Henry’s Fork, Teton, Wood, and Boise.  As a friend and colleague I want to wish her the best of luck as she tackles new challenges a little closer to home, family, and friends.  Please join me in thanking Kim for her important work and tenure at TU, and wishing her the best of luck in the future.

Chad Chorney awarded Magic Valley Fly Fisherman of the Year

Chad Chorney, a longtime Magic Valley Fly Fishers volunteer and Trout Unlimited staffer, was awarded Fly Fisherman of the Year by the Twin Falls chapter at their annual banquet on Saturday Feb. 9.

Ben Collins, emcee for the evening, summed up Chad’s accomplishments like this:

“This individual is a firm believer of conservation and education through fly fishing. He joined Magic Valley Fly Fishers several years ago and brought with him an in depth experience in fly fishing, fly tying, fly casting and a willingness to participate in all the club’s activities and even more important, a willingness to become a leader and eventually serve as newsletter editor and then as president for two years. He also took on the onerous task of banquette chairman for two years and was always instrumental in any conservation projects the club worked on.

The only problem, he wasn’t an Idaho native and you know how that plays out in this state. However, he went to work under the tutelage of Dave Anderson who soon had him molded into an “almost” Idaho native.

Then he found a higher calling and went to work for Trout Unlimited where he could really put his fly fishing and leadership qualities to work improving trout waters in the state and lately, he raised his sights another notch and combined his fly fishing with photography.”

Chad has another success on the river.
Chad has another success on the river.

Congratulations to Chad and to the Magic Valley Fly Fishers on a successful banquette and another year of working to protect, restore, reconnect and sustain coldwater fisheries in Idaho.

Statement on Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Joan Hurlock

The Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited met in Twin Falls on Saturday February 9 and voted to support the Senate confirmation of Joan Hurlock to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

Unfortunately the State Senate voted the other way and she was not confirmed.

Ms. Hurlock is a product of the commission screening process, which Idaho’s hunters and anglers strongly support. The eight-member screening committee unanimously recommended Ms. Hurlock and Trout Unlimited believes that attempts by a vocal but small minority of people to subvert the commission selection process is a disappointing and dangerous precedent.

First Blog Post

Welcome to the new online home of the Idaho Council of Trout Unlimited.

Idaho contains some of the most important habitat for several native trout and salmon species such as the Yellowstone cuttroat trout of eastern Idaho, redband trout across south Idaho, and westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout in the remote mountains and valleys of central and northern Idaho.

And then there’s the anadromous species of chinook salmon, sockeye salmon and steelhead that spawn in the relatively pristine waters of Idaho before they migrate to the Pacific Ocean.

Idaho is taking steps to protect the remaining stronghold habitats for these native resident and anadromous trout and salmon. A Federal regulation adopted by the Secretary of Agriculture directs the US Forest Service to protect about 90 percent of the remaining roadless areas on National Forests in the state ­­ about 8.8 million acres of 9.3 million acres. Wild and native trout will greatly benefit from this rule.

Save the Yellowstone cutthroats. Learn more about this project here.

Donate here: