Many of us, on our adventures in Henry’s Fork country, have also traveled south to explore the South Fork of the Snake River (SFSR). However, during your travels you might not have realized how interconnected flows and management of the Henry’s Fork was to SFSR
The SFSR from Palisades Dam to the Henry’s Fork confluence is roughly 60 miles long, supports robust populations of Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Brown Trout, and flows through cottonwood stands, canyons, and a braided flood plain. Management of the SFSR system, especially in regards to water management, can directly affect streamflow in the Henry’s Fork.
So, when a group of SFSR outfitters and concerned citizens approached HFF and asked us to expand our brand of research and collaboration to the SFSR, we took note. They expressed concerns about how fluctuations in SFSR flows might be affecting macroinvertebrates and fish populations, about summer water temperatures and fish habitat, and if restoration projects could boost trout populations and the fishing experience, while still meeting irrigation demand.
If we look back five, ten, or twenty years, these same questions were being asked about the Henry’s Fork. In fact, understanding the answers to these questions were a significant driver in building the innovative and advanced science program HFF currently maintains. It made sense that this group approached HFF to help conserve the unique fisheries, wildlife, and aesthetic qualities of the SFSR –HFF has been doing this for nearly 35 years.
That is why, after serious consideration, HFF has launched the South Fork Initiative (SFI) project. Not only will this new endeavor provide the opportunity to influence broad-scale water management for the benefit of the Henry’s Fork and the SFSR, maintaining a healthy SFSR fishery will help disperse fishing pressure and ensure great fishing opportunities for both rivers. Expanding HFF’s scope to the SFSR will be a win-win for everyone.
Funding for SFI related projects comes directly from grants and donations designated for the SFI. Donations and funds for the Henry’s Fork are not, and will not, be used for SFI projects. If you’d like to support the SFI by making an additional donation for the SFI, please feel free to contact Bryce@henrysfork.org or Julie@henrysfork.org