Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited is in the process of updating our youth leadership program. We will select two persons to be Youth Advisor to the Hemingway TU Board of Directors. Prospective goals for Youth Advisors will be to help in leadership with other youths, coordinate outings and projects. Another aspect will be social media suggestion and input. All goals are to be nine with TU’s mission and vision.
Every year thousands of trout and other species of fish which live in the Big Wood River migrate into irrigation diversions and canals never to return to the river. At the end of each irrigation season when the water flows are shut off, the fish become trapped and die.
The Hemingway Chapter of TU has been working with canal companies and Idaho Fish and Game ( IDFG) for over a decade to rescue these stranded trout and put them back into the Big Wood River. When water is about to be shut off, TU is notified by the canal companies or Water Master at which point we recruit volunteers to net and transport the fish from the canals back into the Big Wood River at the location closest to the collection point.
In order to do this, the Hemingway TU Chapter applies for both fish collection and transport permits which are provided by IDFG and follow prescribed collection and transport techniques approved by IDFG. We use seine nets to collect fish from the shallow waters, put them in buckets with oxygen bubblers and then place the fish into an aerated, oxygen infused fresh water tank, where they are held until we finish the collection. Once the collection is complete we transport the fish back to the Big Wood River and put them back in.
One of the difficulties is timing. We have no way to measure how fast the water will percolate into the ground and dry up, so we make our best estimate based upon years of experience. Once we get the shutoff date we have only a couple of days to coordinate volunteers, ready equipment and get to the site to rescue the trout. Recently John Wright of the Diversion 45 Canal company has been working closely with us to provide advanced notification and even maintain some small flows to allow time to rescue the fish. This has helped our success rate in collection of fish.
John Finnell who designed, built and donated the fish rescue tank, has been involved with the fish rescues for years is the point person for this effort and deserves a great deal of credit for the success of this program.
This rescue is both fun and rewarding and volunteers of all ages are welcome to participate. If you have never participated in a rescue, come out and join us. It is usually a three to four hour commitment, but a person can leave whenever they need to.
If interested please contact Ed Northen, firstname.lastname@example.org mobile 949-246-9372.
photo credit John Finnell
Each year Hemingway TU provides various opportunities to educate youth in the Wood River Valley. Last year we worked with approximately 130 kids teaching them the value of habitat and conservation, as well as how to fish. Silver Creek Outfitters generously supports these efforts through donation of fishing gear. Recently we had a donation of Sage and Reddington fly rod combo’s and we purchased 16 more at cost. This added to the 4 flyrod combos donated by LL Bean will allow us to expose Youth to catch and release flyfishng.
Students spend the day at the Hayspur Fish Hatchery where they are given a tour of the hatchery, learn about trout, are taken on a bird walk and taught how to identify birds, play a game that teaches about ecology/ conservation and are taught how to catch and release fish with fly rods. We partner with Idaho Fish and Game who lead the hatchery tours and stock the pond with rainbow trout, to ensure many bent rods and smiling faces.
For more information or to be part of this great effort please please contact:
Bob Knoebel Chairman, Youth Education
Trout Unlimited, Hemingway Chapter at Flyrodbob@aol.com 720-0005
Below are the events we held in 2018.
photos by Bob Knoebel
Alturas Elementary School: May 2018
Hemingway TU members play an important role in teaching kids to fish and to appreciate our environment. Volunteers helped to SUSTAIN the sport we love by sharing our skills. We will spend the day with 80 fourth graders from the Alturas Elementary School many who are first time anglers! The day included fishing, birding , games and a tour of the hatchery (thanks Jamie Mitchell and your staff at Hayspur!). These enthusiastic kids had a great day as they caught a trout and then released it to watch it swim away. Volunteers always experience a reward for their efforts when they see the smiles on the faces of these kids.
YMCA: June, 2016
This year we had another very successful event fishing with YMCA students. There were lots of large fish caught on flies and released, resulting in big smiles on the faces of these ambitious anglers. Owls, yellow warblers, Northern harriers and red winged black birds, were just a few of the bird sightings the accompanied a fun and educational tour of the fish hatchery by the IDFG crew.
Higher Ground Youth 2014
This was our final youth education / fishing outing for the year. It was a thrill for these youngsters to be able to catch and release Rainbow Trout, see birds and play some games that helped them learn about the environment and go through a tour of the trout hatchery. Come out and volunteer to take some kids fishing. It is always a lot of fun for both the kids and the volunteers. Contact Bob Knoebel, Chairman, Youth Education, 720-0005 to volunteer.
On October 8th, Hemingway TU volunteers gathered at Silver Creek Preserve to partner with The Nature Conservancy to plant native plants of various sizes to help protect and restore areas of the preserve. Dayna Gross the Preserve Manager oversaw the plantings and lunch was provided for all the workers. It was a rewarding day for all the participants. There will be more opportunities for planting and stream restoration in the future. Dave Spaulding, our project chair coordinated and participated in this restoration effort.
When: 1st Thursday of the month: Unless otherwise noted by **!!
Time: 6:00 pm, via Zoom
Where: Zoom or online
Guest speakers present local and global fishing opportunities, discuss tactics and stewardship practices. Learn about opportunities to participate in local projects and conservation efforts.
Next Meeting : March. 4th, 6:00pm -7:30
Join Zoom Meeting
Topic: Winter Flyfishng in the Magic Valley
Presenter : Ed Northen
Winter FlyFishing in the Magic Valley by Ed NorthenWinter fishing can be some of the best fishing of the year without the crowds.It provides solitude, wildlife, winter beauty and a fishing opportunity for the house bound angler.The program will address appropriate gear, techniques, flies, places to fish, safety and and how to be prepared in winter.Ed is passionate about flyfishing, he has guided for Silver Creek Outfitter since 2006 and enjoys sharing his knowledge of fishing and river ecosystems with others.He is one of the founding board members of Hemingway Chapter Trout Unlimited and a past President of the Chapter.The protect, reconnect, restore sustain mission of Trout Unlimited is something he seeks to apply to all of the work he is involved in in the Wood River Valley and beyond.
Other activities he enjoys are x-country skiing, trail running, backpacking to high mountain lakes, exploring the waters U.S and Candid with his wife Carmen in their 1984 VW Vanagon camper .He is a published poet and retired from his career with the Orange County Fire Department ,as a Fire Captain and Paramedic after 34 years.
We hope you will join us.
Program Calendar 2020-2021
September (no meeting)
** Wednesday, October 2 5:00-7:00 PM
Thursday, November 7 5:00-7:00 PM
Update Flying Heart Access Litigation
Various Board Members and Sam Linnet, Attorney
THURSDAY, December 3 6:00-7:30 PM
Thursday, January 7 5:00-7:00 PM
Thermal tolerance and performance of redband trout populations adapted to different Idaho ecosystems
Brian Small, Ph.D.
Director, Aquaculture Research Institute
Professor, Fish and Wildlife Sciences, College of Natural Resources
**Saturday, February 4 Anytime
IF4 FLY-FISHING FILM FEST
Thursday, March 4 6:00-7:30 PM
Topic: Winter Flyfishng in the Magic Valley
Presenter: Ed Northen, TU Hemingway Chapter Board & Fishing Guide
Thursday, April 1 5:00-7:00 PM
Thursday, May 6 5:00-7:00 PM
Big Wood River Below Magic
Trout Unlimited in partnership with the Wood River Land Trust is working on a solution to the problem of maintaining year round water flows on the Big Wood River below Magic Reservoir.
In good water years, more fish survive, but in low water years the water is shut off as early as July, resulting in significant fish kill. Thousands of large rainbow and brown trout, many over 18” die due to lack of water. TU has been working on solutions to this problem for 8 years.
We continue to work on creative solutions to obtain a permanent year round water source for this unique ecosystem and fishery.
Over the past years we have collected water quality information on this portion of the Big Wood River in the spring, summer and fall.
We continue to be optimistic and are working with water users to try and find a win-win solution for this problem. We will keep you updated as changes occur.
BWR Home Waters Initiative
The Big Wood River is part of the TU National Home Rivers Initiative.
The Big Wood Home Rivers Initiative seeks to take advantage of a supportive local angling community and our long history of restoration success to restore the full wild trout potential of the Big Wood. Our objective is to both restore fish populations and the habitat they need, and to educate landowners that live along the banks of the river and its tributaries about how to protect and steward those unique resources. Home Rivers Initiatives are national programs that place a full-time staff member in a watershed to live and work with and within the local community and bring TU’s scientific, policy, grassroots and legal expertise to bear on watershed- scale restoration and protection.
Keri York , Big Wood River Project Manager email@example.com is the TU’s full time staff person working on the goals of the initiative and is working out of an office in Hailey.
As is common to all of TU’s conservation work we do not hope to accomplish our goals alone. The list of project partners is long and growing. These partners in the Wood River Valley include: Idaho Fish and Game, The Nature Conservancy, The Wood River Land Trust, Hemingway Chapter of TU , Silver Creek Outfitters, private landowners and Idaho Department of Water Resources.
In February, 2016, a Geomorphic assessment of the Big Wood River was completed and presented to the public. This study is combined with other studies on fish populations and entomology of the Big Wood River. Below is a definition of what a Geomorphic assessment is about.
The Role of Watershed Assessments in River Restoration
By: Dan Dauwalter, Ph.D., Trout Unlimited, Boise, Idaho
The way a stream or river looks when you’re standing on the bank or while fishing reflects what is going on in the watershed, both on land and in tributary streams. Streams and rivers naturally transport water, sediments (coarse and fine), and organic materials (wood and leaves). As these as are transported downstream they interact with the stream channel, banks, and floodplain, and these interactions determine how the river looks in character – this look is commonly referred to as a river’s morphology. Since river morphology is influenced by its watershed, it also reflects human activities far from and adjacent to the river.
We often seek to restore rivers to ameliorate some of the problems we see in them due to human activities. Sometimes these problems are obvious like severe streambank erosion, but sometimes these problems are more subtle, such as when there are small changes in the streambed elevation due to changes in sediment supply. In the past, river restoration was often done in a haphazard fashion. That is, someone noticed an obvious problem and tried to fix it without a broader understanding what was causing the problem in the first place. Today, river restoration is often done by first by understanding the issues with a river and their cause before implementing any restoration projects. A common starting point in large-scale river restoration programs, therefore, is conducting a science-based watershed assessment.
Watershed assessments completed to aid river restoration planning typically have a strong focus on geomorphology and hydrology because of their strong influence on aquatic habitats and fisheries. One common assessment methodology is the Watershed Assessment of River Stability and Sediment Supply (WARSSS; Rosgen 2006). The WARSSS methodology is a multi-stepped process focused on identifying land use impacts to sediment imbalances and river stability. The assessment outcome is the identification of risks and consequences of altered sediment supply and river channel instability – two factors import to the natural functioning of river systems. Of course the natural functioning of river systems impact aquatic habitats, aquatic life, and ecosystem function. These connections between what is happening in the watershed, river function, aquatic habitats, and aquatic life are what drive the health of trout fisheries in rivers like the Big Wood River
Loving Creek Fish Ladder and Revegitation Project
“On Saturday, May 17th, the Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited partnered with RBC Wealth Management employees, and TU staffer Chad Chorney, to re-vegetate a recent fish passage project on Loving Creek. During the fall of 2013, a fish ladder and bypass channel were constructed on Loving Creek (tributary to Silver Creek) where a migration barrier existed, allowing for fish passage of all age-classes of trout. The fish passage will provide access to upstream spawning and rearing habitat for adult trout, and will enable juvenile trout to migrate to nursery areas within the watershed.
TU and RBC volunteers planted approximately 600 individual native sedges, cut and planted native willows along sensitive riparian corridors, and spread native seed along disturbed upland areas. Re-vegetation on restoration projects is critical, and these efforts can’t be accomplished without assistance from volunteers. Thank you to the RBC employees and Hemingway chapter volunteers that helped make this project a success!’