Three Rivers Ranch’s Newsfeed

Thank you for visiting our newsfeed.  You’ll find the latest news on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, fishing news from around Idaho, and other news from Three Rivers Ranch.

 

35th Anniversary — Lessons Learned. Part 1: Angler Perceptions and Economic Value

  35th Anniversary – Lessons Learned   Part 7:  Angler Perceptions and Economic Value   Using science to understand what anglers value or to quantify the economic contribution of fishing to the local economy is a relatively new component of HFF’s programmatic work. A series of angler attitudes surveys began in 2008 – repeated in 2014 and redesigned for 2016, 2017, 2018 – to get a better sense of factors like angler satisfaction with their fishing experience, angler characteristics, and any changes in attitudes between years. The first attempts to quantify economic value of fishing on the Henry's Fork began in the late 90s and was repeated in 2004 and again in 2016-2018. Dr. Cliff Nowell of Weber State University was involved in design, implementation, and analysis both for the original study and the most recent.   Here are a few highlights of what we’ve learned about angler perceptions and the economic value of fishing on the Henry’s Fork:     Angler Attitudes Studies:  The “median” Harriman angler: comes from Idaho, Utah, or California; began fishing the Ranch in 1995; fishes the Ranch 6 days/yr; fishes other sections of the Henry’s Fork 3 days/yr, and catches zero fish per day on the

35th Anniversary — Lessons Learned. Part 1: Angler Perceptions and Economic Value2019-04-19T20:06:49+00:00

35th Anniversary – Lessons Learned. Part 5: Island Park Reservoir

  35th Anniversary – Lessons Learned.   Part 5: Island Park Reservoir   Many already have a sense that Island Park Reservoir plays a significant role in water quality, streamflows, and the fishing experience downstream, but here are 4 key lessons learned about the reservoir since HFF's founding in 1984:     1.  HFF's research on effects of Island Park Reservoir on water quality and the fishery downstream shows that keeping the reservoir as full as possible for as long as possible results in cooler summer-time water temperatures below the dam, lower turbidity, lower suspended sediment export from the reservoir, and higher winter flow. Thus, mid-summer fishing experience and long-term habitat quality and trout recruitment all benefit from a full reservoir.   Low storage levels in IP Reservoir lead to higher turbidity downstream of the dam.   2.  A full reservoir also increases the chance of a beneficial spring freshet that can move sediment out of certain river reaches and provides habitat benefits for trout and aquatic insects all the way down to St. Anthony.     3.  A higher summer reservoir level provides more summer habitat for fish in the reservoir, which contributes more fish to the upper river.  

35th Anniversary – Lessons Learned. Part 5: Island Park Reservoir2019-03-28T08:06:48+00:00

Ora Bridge Construction and HFF Water Quality Monitoring

Ora Bridge. Photo by James Chandler Photography.   Plans to replace and redesign Ora Bridge have been in the works for 5 years. As this is a significant project, discussions and preparations took a great deal of time; from planning and public meetings, to bidding out the project and finalizing details with the contractor. The project has seen some delays and is now ready to begin (as soon as the weather cooperates). HFF’s role in the process began 5 years ago thanks to Fremont County keeping us in the loop on the project. Senior Scientist, Rob Van Kirk attended several meetings and provided feedback along the way. In January 2015 and again in late 2017, HFF, alongside Idaho Dept. Fish & Game, argued strongly for:  1) no disruption to fishing access, and if a temporary closure is absolutely necessary for safety, delivery of large equipment and materials, or unforeseen emergency, that it occur between July 15 and September 1, at least 24 hours’ notice should be given, and the closure should be no more than 2 consecutive days; and 2) no in-water construction prior to July 15th to protect Rainbow Trout spawning and to minimize disruption to the angling season.

Ora Bridge Construction and HFF Water Quality Monitoring2019-03-23T08:06:33+00:00

35th Anniversary — Lessons Learned. Part 3: Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

  35th Anniversary – Lessons Learned   Part 3:  Aquatic Macroinvertebrates   Aquatic macroinvertebrates—insects and other creatures that live in the stream bottom—feed trout and are the basis of fly-fishing on the Henry’s Fork, but they are also important indicators of aquatic habitat quality. Mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies are sensitive to water pollution and habitat degradation, making them so important to the assessment of water and habitat quality that it has its own acronym among aquatic ecologies – EPT; for the three taxonomic orders Ephemeroptera (mayflies), Plecoptera (stoneflies), and Trichoptera (caddisflies). Higher relative abundance of EPT taxa indicates better water and aquatic habitat quality. Here are five of the most critical things HFF has learned about macroinvertebrates on the Henry's Fork.   1.  Unfortunately, HFF does not have the needed historic data to compare how individual species have changed across long periods of time. We can only assess the data we have collected from 2015-2018 (2019 data is being analyzed as we speak) and trends across those years.   2.  In general, we know that overall health and percentages of mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies (%EPT) on the Henry’s Fork is good.       Percent mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies at five

35th Anniversary — Lessons Learned. Part 3: Aquatic Macroinvertebrates2019-03-21T20:06:57+00:00

35th Anniversary — Lessons Learned. Part 1: Ranch Habitat

In honor of HFF’s 35th Anniversary, each week in March and April we will share significant findings or key facts we’ve learned about the river over the past 35 years. Get ready for a crash course in Henry’s Fork trout habitat, fish passage, macroinvertebrates, hydrology, Island Park Reservoir, water quality, economic value of fishing, and water management.   35th Anniversary -- Lessons Learned PART 1:  Ranch Habitat A great deal of research was conducted on fish habitat, especially in the Railroad Ranch reach, to answer the question “What limits the trout population and how can we increase it?”. Much of this research was conducted between the mid-1980s and late 1990s by graduate students of Dr. Jack Griffith of Idaho State University, with additional research conducted in 2013-2014 by graduate student Zach Kuzniar. What follows is a very simplified summary of five key findings related to Ranch habitat. To learn more about each topic or research effort, follow the links provided or visit us at the HFF Community Campus for additional resources.   1.  By the mid-1990s, research identified winter survival of juvenile rainbow trout as the single factor limiting the population in the reach from Island Park Dam to Hatchery Ford. (Gregory,

35th Anniversary — Lessons Learned. Part 1: Ranch Habitat2019-03-06T20:07:18+00:00

Boise River Fly Fishing Report – Feb 2019

Boise River – In Town Fishing Report Boise River in town: Streamer fishing early in the morning or late evening will give you a chance at a big boise river brown or rainbow. Streamer fishing should move some of the bigger browns and bows but nymphing will be most productive with your standard nymphs. Pheasant Tails, Hares ears, Zebra midges. South Fork of the Boise River  Fishing Report Anderson Ranch Tail Water: Look in the tailouts, foam lines, and slower moving water mid afternoon for fish sipping BWO’s and midges. These rises can be very subtle. Flows are holding steady at 299cfs and will remain around 300 for the winter. Fishing as of late has been great in the afternoon when temps warm up. Nymphing as always will be most productive this time of the year with small sized baetis nymphs and zebra mides in sizes 18-22. Try a rubber leg to a zebra midge or baetis nymph for best results. In the afternoon you’re seeing productive BWO hatches depending on where you’re at on the river and daytime temps. Stop by or call our Boise Fly Shop for up to date information on where to fish and what to

Boise River Fly Fishing Report – Feb 20192019-02-12T06:02:13+00:00

Owyhee River Fishing Report – Feb 2019

Fish long leaders of 5x or 6x in the 10-12 foot range for best results when targeting those risers on the dries. Flows are holding at 26cfs which means they are very low for this river and can offer some very technical fishing. You can still find good dry fly fishing in the flats below the riffles where fish will be targeting BWO’s if hatching, and or midges. Let the fish spawn in peace!!! Have fun and stop by TRR Outfitters in Eagle or call (208) 939-6065 to stock up on some flies, purchase your Owyhee fishing license, or book a guided fishing trip. Owyhee Reservoir Levels Owyhee River below the Dam Owyhee River near Rome, OR The post Owyhee River Fishing Report – Feb 2019 appeared first on TRR Outfitters.

Owyhee River Fishing Report – Feb 20192019-02-12T06:02:16+00:00

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Management on the South Fork Snake River

Highlights Fall IDFG surveys estimated Rainbow Trout and Rainbow x Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Hybrid abundances nearly doubled in 2018 and set a record high of 3,073 fish/mile in the Conant index reach. If left unmanaged, Rainbow Trout would likely hybridize and out-compete native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout in the South Fork Snake River. To protect native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout from a potential population crash and possible listing as a federal protected species, IDFG will electrofish Rainbow and Hybrid Trout during the 2019 spawning season and transport them to local lakes and ponds. The South Fork Initiative recognizes this is not an ideal situation but we fully support the management decision to remove and reduce Rainbows and Hybrid Trout in order to protect native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. Introduction Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout (YCT), Rainbow Trout, and Rainbow x Yellowstone Cutthroat hybrids (hereafter referred to as RHT – Rainbows & hybrids) all contribute to the world class South Fork Snake River fishery. Ideally, YCT and RHT could co-habitat with minimal inter-species competition and hybridization. Unfortunately, YCT and RHT share similar life-history strategies, utilize the same habitat, and compete for the same resources, with RHT exhibiting a competitive advantage in the system. RHT would likely hybridize

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Management on the South Fork Snake River2019-02-06T20:07:31+00:00

Eastern Idaho Fly Fishing Report – December 2018

South Fork of the Snake River Flows: ~ 900 CFS at Irwin,  ~1300 CFS at Heise Winter has settled in, but with the current Winter flows on the South Fork of the Snake River it has opened up the river to really accessible wading opportunities. Remember to look for your Winter holding spots for trout and not the places you would fish in the summer. Long flats after large bends are some of the best winter fishing spots to key in on.  Nymphing has been the most productive application. You will see midges coming off during the temperature variances of the day, especially if its overcast/cloudy.  Nymphing small rubber legs, zebra midges, small tactical nymphs, and egg patterns will be the most productive patterns.  Remember that getting down to where the fish are holding is paramount so you may need to use a more substantial point fly or split shot in combination with your small nymphs.  If you enjoy streamer fishing, make sure to use a slow retrieve in Winter instead of a more active strip that you would use during spring, summer, and fall. Henry’s Fork of the Snake River  Upper River:  Box Canyon ~ 480 CFS Box has been fishing well, and access will continue to

Eastern Idaho Fly Fishing Report – December 20182018-12-21T06:04:36+00:00

Eastern Idaho Fly Fishing Report – December 2018

South Fork of the Snake River Flows: ~ 900 CFS at Irwin,  ~1300 CFS at Heise Winter has settled in, but with the current Winter flows on the South Fork of the Snake River it has opened up the river to really accessible wading opportunities. Remember to look for your Winter holding spots for trout and not the places you would fish in the summer. Long flats after large bends are some of the best winter fishing spots to key in on.  Nymphing has been the most productive application. You will see midges coming off during the temperature variances of the day, especially if its overcast/cloudy.  Nymphing small rubber legs, zebra midges, small tactical nymphs, and egg patterns will be the most productive patterns.  Remember that getting down to where the fish are holding is paramount so you may need to use a more substantial point fly or split shot in combination with your small nymphs.  If you enjoy streamer fishing, make sure to use a slow retrieve in Winter instead of a more active strip that you would use during spring, summer, and fall.   Henry’s Fork of the Snake River  Upper River:  Box Canyon ~ 480 CFS Box has been fishing well, and access will continue

Eastern Idaho Fly Fishing Report – December 20182018-12-22T06:03:51+00:00