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Meetings

By | Meetings & Events

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 Northen

Winter 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

No Meeting

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

No Meeting

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

TBA

TBA

Thursday, May 6            5:00-7:00 PM

TBA

TBA

Hemingway TU program May 5, 6:00 -8:00, on zoom

By | Meetings & Events

Patagonia

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85906547352?pwd=VjVObUhzZzRoZGN5SWFQTHR3NnAzUT09

Meeting ID: 859 0654 7352
Passcode: Trout2021

recorded video Access Passcode: LVJgu5e@


Presenter: Tim Flagler, Tightline Productions


This presentation will include video and photos of a trip and travel opportunities to Patagonia, both Northern and Southern regions. Tim hosts groups to these areas where the fish are plentiful, food excellent and scenery stunning.


Tim Flagler is the owner of Tightline Productions, L.L.C., a video production company located in Califon, NJ. Although he produces video programs over a wide range of topics, his specialty is fly fishing. Tim is a well-known fly tying instructor. His YouTube videos are some of the best in the business and his YouTube channel, practicalpatterns.com currently hasover 80,000 subscribers and 24 million views. Almost every week he produces a new fly tying or “how to” video which appear not only on his YouTube channel but on Midcurrent and the Orvis fly fishing blog as well. They’re also featured on Trout Unlimited’s national website and in the Orvis Learning Center. In addition, he has a regular column “Beginner’s Masterclass with Tim  Flagler” in Fly Tyer magazine. Many of his tying videos take the viewer well beyond just the tying of the fly and show what it looks like underwater, what natural it represents and how it can be fished.
Tim’s a fixture at the Fly Fishing Shows – giving presentations, teaching classes and often as a Featured Tier. He enjoys guiding year round for Shannon’s Fly & Tackle in Califon, NJ. and hosts annual trips to Patagonia in the spring and to the Kootenai River in MT starting summer of 2020.Topic:

7th annual New Jersey Fly Fisherman of the Year competition and State Council TU banquet

Hemingway TU Newsletter

By | Meetings & Events

Hemingway Chapter December, 2020

 News and views from the Board:
 Greetings, all.  We miss you, and we all miss each other.  Patience.  We’ll be back together soon if we stay safe over the holiday seasons (plural) – Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My wife and I will enjoy both holidays here at home in Hailey. We cancelled our plans to visit our son, daughter-in-law and grandkids over Thanksgiving and, frankly, doubt that we will visit them for Christmas as well. Over cautious perhaps, but better safe than sorry.  And, if we have to be somewhere during this horrible pandemic, we can’t imagine a better place. We are all very lucky to live in paradise where we can step out into the Big Wood River for winter fishing, hop on our downhill or cross country skis (or both), or maybe just enjoy looking at the fresh falling snow.
 
Our (virtual) membership meeting last month was fun, even though participation was rather small.  (Everyone is tired of Zoom meetings so low attendance was not a surprise.)  We heard about the Chapter’s fish rescue program.  Now, the Ted Trueblood Chapter is very interested in what we’ve done.  Earlier this month they invited Ed Northen and John Finnell to discuss our rescue efforts with their members. (See the link to their presentation below.) And there is a good chance we’ll get a short article in a future issue of Trout magazine.  Nice publicity but more important a great way to get other similarly situated chapters, those in the west with irrigation canals, to think about how they too can save stranded fish.
 
Chapter volunteers helped pour concrete to improve the Elkhorn Fish Ladder.  A week later the “top” was put on the ladder, both to ensure the trout don’t jump out and people don’t fall in.  (Photos of the concrete work and the metal top are below.). The hearing on the Flying Heart public access litigation we discussed last month has been postponed from just before Christmas to sometime (as yet to be determined) in January.  We are following that very closely and looking for ways to participate in the process to ensure public access and parking at the trail heads is preserved. 
 
Two members, Carmen Northen and Jill Clark, recently volunteered to work with the Environmental Resource Council on testing the water quality in the Big Wood River.  (See photos and report below.). We can use more volunteers.  Let us know if you are interested. 
 
As mentioned in an earlier newsletter, we hope to alternate between virtual, Zoom, meetings and newsletters that pass along links to interesting videos focused, if possible, on the history and evolution of our sport as well as the evolution of fly fishing techniques and technologies.  We’ve found a few videos you might enjoy and have provided links to them.  You can enjoy them at your leisure. 
 
We plan to have a virtual meeting next month via Zoom.  We will be hearing from Brian Small, talking about the redband trout.  If you have ideas for future meetings or presentations, please let us know. 
 
Until then, stay safe, watch your drift and mend. 
Alan Richardson
Hemingway TU Chapter President
 
 
 
Elkhorn Creek Fish Ladder Completed 
10 years ago Bob Law, long time resident of Lane Ranch, envisioned a fish ladder allowing trout to climb over the small dam holding back the Lane Ranch pond along Elkhorn road. After several years of planning, fund raising and lots of volunteer hours, the ladder is operational and reconnecting the Big Wood with the spawning beds in Elkhorn Creek. This project was managed by Trout Unlimited National, supported by our local Hemingway Chapter of TU and local residents. The ladder became functional two weeks ago and the following day trout were spotted moving through the structure. Elkhorn Creek holds Rainbow, Redband, Brook and Brown trout.

by Alex Klokke



Educational Links for Your Enjoyment!

Il Pescatore Completo | The Complete Fisherman
https://youtu.be/GdXIHsGgIQM

5 Tips for Better Mending
https://troutbitten.com/2020/11/18/fly-casting-five-tips-for-better-mending/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fly_casting_five_tips_for_better_mending&utm_term=2020-11-19

Tying the Serendipity
https://youtu.be/oBd_5mCjSCM

Joan Salvato Wulff- IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame
https://youtu.be/tmTCDU5N3m8

Catch and Release Fishing Principles
www.keepfishwet.org

Book Recommendation:  Feather Thief, by Kirk Johnson
Interview with the author:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlEVbVJ139s&t=4s

Classic Pro Tip:  How to tie the Perfection Loop
https://vimeo.com/139365724

Mastering the Roll Cast
https://youtu.be/rMUL0FN4HxALast month Jill Clark and I had the opportunity to take a class sponsored by the Environmental Research Center, that prepared us to be citizen scientists.  The class was taught by Dr. Jim Elkins of University of Idaho who is a water educator.  Jim taught this class for those interested in becoming an IDAH2O Master Water Steward. The goal of the class was to collect water quality data and enter the information into the IDAH2O database.  Using this data, change in water quality over time can be monitored.

We learned about land use practices and how they can affect a river, how to identify healthy riparian habitat and canopy cover, and the importance of monitoring fish populations, macro invertebrates, wildlife, and birds. We defined the stream substrate, cobble, boulders, silt, sand as well as the stream bank itself. We tested the Ph balance as well as dissolved oxygen levels. We measured water clarity and temperature.

 The reach of the river that we tested is the Big Wood River below Bow Bridge. The Big Wood passed these tests with flying colors by the way. Jill and I measured the width of the river from bank to bank in addition to the actual width of the in-wetted section.  Next year at the same time of the month we will conduct this survey again. With this year being low water, it will be interesting to measure the change in the in-wetted sections.  We also waded the river to note size of cobble, boulders and presence of aquatic plants.  Since there is a USGS gauging station just upstream we didn’t measure stream flow in CFS but recorded it from that 
gauge.   Each month we will test dissolved oxygen levels, Ph levels and clarity of the Big Wood River. A portion of our data set is listed below, in case you were curious. 

Date:  November 5, 2020
In-wetted transect:  68 feet
Substrate:  large and small cobble primarily, very little silt, leaf mats present
Maximum Depth: .56 meters
Ph:  7
Dissolved Oxygen:  11 (High)
Temperature:  41 degrees
Flow:  151 cfs
Primary Macroinvertebrates:  very small mayfly nymphs, evidence of caddis, leaches, crane fly and damsel larvae, blood worms, small aquatic snails, scud, beetles, stonefly 

If you are interested in the Idah2O Master Water Stewards class you may contact Jim Ekins at jekins@uidaho.edu. Or for a more basic understanding of stream habitat assessment you may contact Trout Unlimited to order the book My Healthy Stream. Our chapter has a set of testing equipment that you may borrow to monitor your favorite section of the Big Wood.  


If you would like to volunteer to help monitor the Big Wood River, contact us at info.hemingwaytu@gmail.com
by Carmen Northen
Hemingway Chapter collaborates with the Ted Trueblood Chapter
in a presentation on Fish Rescue

On November 18th, Ed Northen and John Finnell shared a zoom presentation with 30 members of the Ted Trueblood chapter who were interested in the possibility of establishing a fish rescue program in their area. View the presentation video below. 
 Watch Ed and John’s presentation prerecorded on zoom. 
https://youtu.be/37B9R9JeGEY

 Dave Spaulding sharing his fly tying talents with David Garcia who is working with both Dave, and Bob Knoebel to complete his high school personal project on fly fishing.

Photos by Bob Knoebel
 
 Join the Hemingway TU chapter by clicking on the link
www.tu.org
 Five Trout Unlimited volunteers fished with 7 members of the Outdoor Hispanic Leadership Club on Friday, October 23rd at Hayspur.  Jill Clark ran the students through a casting clinic and then joined Ed Northen, Alan Richardson, Nick Miller and Bob Knoebel at Gaver’s Lagoon to help the young men catch their first trout on a fly rod.   
Facebook Event https://www.facebook.com/events/675396026715160
Eventbrite Tickets https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrating-women-in-fly-fishing-virtual-expo-tickets-127513625687

A virtual event bringing together women fly fishing professionals. We have gathered together a diverse group of women professionals including: artists, business owners, instructors, guides & product designers. Our goal is to shine a spotlight on our talents of women in the fly fishing industry, our clothing, fly fishing education & gear designed for women by women!
 JOIN US FOR OUR JANUARY 7TH CHAPTER MEETING AND PRESENTATION  6 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
 
 Dr. Small is the Director of the Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI) of the University of Idaho and a Professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences. ARI is an internationally recognized leader in aquaculture and fisheries research, teaching, and outreach with world-class facilities in Moscow and Hagerman, Idaho. Dr. Small’s personal research focuses on the physiology of fish in both culture and natural environments to better inform management and policy decisions.  Dr. Small received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and held positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mississippi State University, and Southern Illinois University prior to moving to Idaho in 2015. Dr. Small has published over 100 articles related to fish physiology and is internationally recognized as a leader in his field.Follow us on Facebook and Instagram
at Hemingway Trout Unlimited. 
 Did you read and interact with our newsletter?  Let’s find out!
This month’s raffle item is a TU Ball Cap!

In order to enter, take the 10 question quiz attached below. 
Type in your full name or email address as your username so that we can know who won and I can track you down to mail the cap to you. 

Each question is on a 20 second timer, the quiz is active until December 10. 


Link to the Quiz:
https://kahoot.it/challenge/07235194?challenge-id=608c1f7e-44db-4fc1-b763-4c6d964c381b_1606262358513


May the odds be ever in your favor!  Jill Clark

Fish Rescue Program

By | conservation & projects
Volunteers are needed to become part of the Fish Rescue Team. 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. In 2019 we rescued over 8,000 fish, and have rescued over 1,000 fish to date this year. If you want to know more about this program please go to our website http://hemingwaytu.org. Due to the Covid issues we will be using smaller teams this year to provide for the safety and health of those participating. The Rescues often occur with little notification resulting in times and locations changing at the last minute. If you would like to volunteer for this meaningful and fun program please email me a apilgram@cox.net with your email address and phone number. I will put you in a list that gets contacted when we do the rescues. I look forward to hearing from those of you who are interested. Ed Northen: apilgram@cox.net, mobile: 949-246-9372

Kids Fishing Day

By | outings & education

The Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited would like to thank the many volunteers who showed up to help the youth with fly fishing day. We had three separate events this year, each event was divided into four separate groups, fishing, birding, a hatchery tour by IDFG personnel, and a conservation game. This year approximately 125 children were involved. All the children enjoyed the day and caught fish and created memories to last a lifetime!!

Save Bristol Bay- Stop Pebble Mine Update

By | conservation & projects

Bristol Bay, Alaska is one of the most pristine watersheds in N. America.  It is home to the world’s largest Sockeye Salmon runs.

In addition, there are tremendous runs of several other salmon species, including Kings, Chinook, Coho as well as giant Rainbow Trout

The Day before Thanksgiving, The Army Core of Engineers denied the permit for the Pebble Mine!! This is wonderful news, after 15 years of fighting this mine it is for the time being defeated. There is still work to be done though, we need to get protective measures legislated so that the Pebble mine does not come back in the future and seek another permit.

For more information visit this link https://www.tu.org/blog/strong-science-vocal-public-opposition-stopped-pebble-the-stickers-helped/

Taking Care of Idaho Steelhead

By | conservation & projects

By Chris Wood

The first time you snorkel a stream, the size of the bugs is disarming. Stoneflies tumbling down the stream look like aquatic dragons bent on taking off a limb. It is an optical illusion, of course.

We were way up in the South Fork of the Salmon River drainage. Hiking in neoprene wet suits in relatively warm weather is never a good idea. It is a downright bad idea when you are gaining several thousand feet in elevation.

I eased into the cold water, and lifted my head and yelled in fake fright to a Forest Service colleague when I saw the first stoneflies drifting down the stream. I eased around some dead-fall, and around a bend, and gasped. There they were. Two steelhead, tails fanning, beat-up, side-by-side.

And not just any steelhead but likely part of the fabled Idaho “B-run” steelhead that spawn primarily in the Salmon and Clearwater rivers. The B-run steelhead are Idaho’s largest, and with good reason; some climb more than 6,000 feet in elevation and traverse more than 800 miles to their natal mountain streams to spawn.

I thought about those two fish when I learned that Idaho had decided to close the steelhead fishing season in Idaho for the year (which typically starts in September and continues into May the next year). Threats of litigation, the Endangered Species Act, and bureaucratic wrangling are part of the official explanation, but the real problem is that there just aren’t enough wild steelhead making it back to Idaho.

The decline of Snake River wild steelhead has been dramatic. In the early 1960s, over 100,000 wild steelhead returned to the Snake River. This year, by Nov. 15, when the vast majority of wild steelhead have already returned, only 11,719 wild steelhead had passed Lower Granite Dam. And fewer than 2,000 of those wild fish are the large B-run steelhead so highly prized by anglers.

Steelhead declines over time

Even compared to recent years the 2018 run of wild steelhead is abysmal. The 10-year average wild steelhead return exceeds 39,000.

Lower Granite is the last of the eight federal hydropower dams that span the Columbia and Snake Rivers.  This dam is the last impediment to the several thousand miles of habitat – much of it five-star quality—that awaits salmon and steelhead in the Snake River Basin if they can get past the dams, and too few do.

While the eight dams that Snake River wild steelhead must pass to reach their spawning grounds are not the only cause of their decline, that gauntlet takes a heavy toll. The last four dams that the fish must pass on the lower Snake River are particularly problematic. Though there is work to be done to reduce losses of Snake River wild steelhead to predators and harvesters downstream in the Columbia, as well as the need to reform hatcheries, overwhelming scientific evidence supports either removal of the four lower Snake River dams or some other way to improve survival as the most effective way to recover Snake River salmon and steelhead to healthy, fishable levels.

Releasing a wild steelhead

The state of Idaho has spent millions of dollars restoring wild steelhead and salmon habitat in the Snake River Basin. Similarly, Idaho farmers have reduced their irrigation withdrawals from the Snake to help young salmon and steelhead with their downstream migration through the predator-filled, slackwater reservoirs that sit behind each of the four Lower Snake dams. Cold water is released from Dworshak dam on the Clearwater to help cool the lethally hot water in the lower Snake River reservoirs during the summer months when adult wild steelhead and salmon return.

These measures, while certainly helpful, have not stopped the decline of Idaho’s wild steelhead and salmon.

Idahoans are incredibly proud of their wild salmon and steelhead. For 40 years they have been willing to shoulder sacrifices to ensure their return to their natal mountain streams. At some point, however, they will begin to question the benefit of the billions of taxpayer dollars that have been spent on wild steelhead and salmon without a clear path to recovery.

Let’s hope they do so soon. Time is running out for Idaho’s wild salmon and steelhead.

Chris Wood is the president and CEO of Trout Unlimited

Past Projects

By | conservation & projects

Upper Big Lost Project- East Fork

Hemingway TU partnered with TU’s Idaho Water Project, to harvest, grow and plant 750 willows on the upper Big Lost River.   This part of the project is completed and appears to have a high survival of willows.  Small log barriers were also removed to allow trout to migrate and to return this habitat back to its natural state.  This part of the project was completed in 2008.  2011 will see a fencing of the area to protect it from cattle.

Penny Lake Fishing Platform

A fishing platform for people with special needs and youth was built at Penny Lake on Warm Springs. This platform now provides improved fishing access, and protects the stream banks from erosion. It is rewarding to see how much this platform is used and enjoyed. This project was done in partnership with Trout Unlimited, SV Higher Ground, USFS  and Brian Poster Construction.

This platform project was completed 2009, however additional access paths and habitat improvement may be a future project.

Lake Creek Project

Lake Creek Lake sits in a beautiful setting and is one of the places families in the community gather to teach their children about fishing.  There is little stream habitat below the lake  in which fish can hold and survive.  This project was done enhance the stream to provide better habitat for trout to live in.

Volunteers and Staff from TU and the US Forest Service performed a stream enhancement project on Lake Creek this October 2015.  The enhancement  consisted of adding large woody debris in-stream to add fish habitat and assist with stream hydraulics.  Volunteers moved log sections, secured them in-stream, and performed additional riparian enhancement work in 2014.  In 2015 phase 2, took place over three days.   Volunteers planted a variety of stream side vegetation that will provide, shade, habitat and stabilization to the habitat.  Lots of digging through rocky soils presented a challenge but the volunteers were undaunted.

Restoration of this area may continue in the future.  We will evaluate the impact of work completed in a few years to see if more restoration is viable.

Continuing Projects

By | conservation & projects

 Box Car Bend Clean-up & Maintenance

Every Spring, Usually in May

The Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited  has been partnering with The Wood River Land Trust since 2006 on this annual project. Each year we provide maintenance to the accesses and trails at Box Car Bend on the Big Wood River. 

 Participants of all ages helped  pull invasive weeds, clean trails from overgrowth and crab grass, put down wood chips on the trails and maintain the erosion control barriers.
A few hours of hard work are followed up by a BBQ lunch and snacks.    
Volunteers should bring appropriate clothing including  hats, sun glassess, and work gloves.
Tools to bring: garden rakes, scoop shovels, hoes, Wheel Barrows

Contact for this project is  Carmen Northen at flyfishngirl@cox

Fishing Access Maintenance

One of the ongoing projects the Hemingway Chapter is involved in, is marking and maintaining access to the Big Wood river.  We have been doing this for over a decade and Board Member Dave Spaulding, has been the lead on this effort. In 2011 we began posting fishing regulation and access signs in English and Spanish on almost all of the Big Wood river accesses. We continue to maintain the accesses clearing them of overgrowth and making them visible.  This year we will again provide maintenance to these accesses and ensure regulation and access signs are posted.  Usually the project is done by 4 to 6 people over several days.  This year members of the TU Board gathered together to clear the access at the two Flying Heart access points.  These two parking have been closed down by the homeowners association.  Blaine County Commissioners, Silver Creek Outfitters and TU Hemingway Chapter are in the process of trying to resolve this issue.    We parked just off of the highway and walked into the access sights and cleared the trail . We will be sending out notices of the dates for this project,  once we have them scheduled. Volunteers are needed to participate in one day or all of them.



ERC Clean Sweep

Each spring since 2017 the Hemingway Chapter supports and participates with a team in the ERC “clean sweep” of the Wood River Valley.  Volunteers join together and clean up the river and banks along the Big Wood River at River Run access up and down stream.   We have found and removed a chaise lounge , burnt up guitar, a muffler system and lots of beverage bottles and cans, road cones and general debris.  Our team has won the “best spirit” award and “most unusual find” awards.  This is a fun event and accomplishes our goal of protecting our rivers.

Youth Philanthropy

By | outings & education

Thanks to the generosity of the Wood River Foundation, Louise Stumph from WOW Students, Erika Greenberg, Spanish teacher at WRHS and Mrs. Greenberg’s level 5 Spanish class, a check for $500.00 was donated today to the Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited in recognition of their conservation efforts throughout the Wood River Valley. WOW Students is a nonprofit organization that promotes good works and “growing the next generation of generosity.” Students from Mrs. Greenberg’s class chose Trout Unlimited after extensive research into valley non-profits to determine the best recipient for their generosity.

Accepting the check on behalf of the Hemingway Chapter, is long time board member Bob Knoebel, and new TU board member Enrique Dolores, a Sophomore at WRHS. The funds donated will be used to support the chapter’s Youth Education Program.  New flyrods and supplies will be purchased to benefit more than 100 kids who chapter volunteers teach to flyfish each year, ensuring the future of the sport we love and inspiring the next generation of conservationists.

Youth Leadership

By | outings & education

 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.

Fish Rescue

By | conservation & projects

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, hemingwaytu@me.com mobile 949-246-9372.

photo credit John Finnell

Youth Education

By | outings & education

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.

Silver Creek Restoration

By | conservation & projects

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.

Present Projects

By | conservation & projects

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 kyork@tu.org 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


Past Projects

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!’

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