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Victor, Idaho - Jackson, Wyoming
Kevin is a passionate fishing guide and photographer who specializes in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

June 26, 2010

TU in Race to Protect Idaho's Teton River


TU in Race to Protect Idaho's Teton River


Date: 06/09/2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Kim G. Trotter, (208) 552-0891 x 712
Randy Scholfield, (720) 375-3961

TU in Race to Protect Idaho's Teton River

Conservation group participates in Teton Dam marathon to raise awareness of dam threat

(Rexburg) –Trout Unlimited is joining the Teton Dam marathon, one of Eastern Idaho's premier events, to raise awareness about the natural resources of the 17-mile wild canyon, which it calls a "hidden gem" that is in danger of being inundated by a new dam and reservoir.

The annual race near Rexburg, which draws some 1,300 runners from across the nation, commemorates the Teton Dam disaster and the Rexburg community's relief efforts. The dam collapsed in 1976, killing 11 and causing more than $1 billion in damage.

The race, which begins near the old dam ruins, is also an opportunity to celebrate the Teton Canyon's natural resources, said Kim Trotter, TU's Idaho Water Project director. The conservation group, one of the sponsors of the event, is hosting an educational booth about the canyon's resources at the finish line Expo and is also entering a relay team.

"A lot of Idahoans don't know about the incredible beauty and ecological significance of the Teton Canyon," she said. "It's a wonderful local resource that needs to be protected."

The canyon is one of the last strongholds of native Yellowstone cutthroat trout. And it provides an important refuge for trumpeter swans, bald eagles, and winter herds of mule deer and elk. The BLM is studying the canyon as a candidate for Wild and Scenic status.

The canyon provides economic benefits as well, Trotter noted. Several outfitters guide trips in the canyon, which attracts anglers, boaters and hunters who spend money in local restaurants, shops and hotels.

In 2009, the state of Idaho and Bureau of Reclamation launched plans to study rebuilding Teton Dam. After months of talks with TU and other conservation groups, the BOR announced in April that it would broaden the study to look at a range of options, including underground aquifer storage, municipal conservation and water system efficiencies.

TU calls that a step in the right direction.

"We're going to be monitoring this study closely," said Trotter. "Teton Dam doesn't make sense from an environmental or economic standpoint. There are better, win-win options for Eastern Idaho."

BOR will host the first of several Henry's Fork basin storage study meetings on Tue., June 15 at 8 a.m. at the Mountain View Inn in Rexburg. The meeting is open to the public. TU is urging local citizens to attend.

Trotter likened the study to a marathon. "It's a long, demanding process," she said. "But we're in this for the long haul, to make sure the study is done right."

"It's important the public understands what's going on and gets involved," added Trotter. "Idaho flooded this canyon once - let's not make the same mistake twice."

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Trout Unlimited is the nation's largest coldwater conservation organization, with 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.

June 15, 2010

Carp. Hanging with the Boys From The Hood.

With the inclement weather we've been receiving in the Tetons and GYE, there was nothing left to do but to get down and dirty with the boys from the hood. Carp!
After a few thousand casts between the three of us and switching flies a half a dozen times each, we couldn't figure it out.
They were swimming around our feet, but obviously not interested in what we presented.
So, we looked for different water. I think we even planned on taking off and heading to another location a few hours drive away at this point. Oh, did I mention that we had driven a few hours away from home already.
And then. There they were, hurling themselves out of the water, only to smack down once again. Taunting us.



In one final cast to the wind, no really, it was most certainly windy, BS brought in this Rocky Mountain Bone. This was a enjoyable warm water adventure to tide us over until the local rivers clear or our next carp outing. Hmmm. Maybe we'll do this carp thing again soon.

June 9, 2010

The Teton River named one of American's most endangered by American Rivers

The Teton River is named one of America's Most Endangered by American Rivers

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Last week the Teton River was named one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers™ by American Rivers. For the past 25 years, American Rivers has released its "Most Endangered Rivers" report to spotlight the nation’s ten most imperiled rivers. The Teton River has been selected due to the Bureau of Reclamation's "Henry’s Fork Basin Special Water Study"
to explore the rebuilding of the Teton Dam and other water supply and optimization options, and because there is a “major decision that the public can help influence in the coming year."

The American Rivers designation is a call-to-action and emphasizes solutions for the rivers and their communities. A large part of the reason FTR has been so successful in its work in the upper Teton watershed is because of its dedication to working with diverse stakeholders to develop with creative, collaborative solutions to habitat restoration, fish passage and water management. Using a blend of federal, state and private funding FTR has replaced failing diversion structures and installed fish screens, providing win-win solutions for irrigators and fish; has worked with farmers to establish cattle crossings, reduce sediment inputs and restore streambanks; and has established subwatershed stakeholder groups to address specific problems on tributary streams. FTR hopes that some of the lessons and collaborative relationships FTR has developed in the upper Teton watershed can be applied in the Henry’s Fork Basin Special Water Study.

FTR recognizes that a dam on the lower Teton River could have significant impacts on restoration of Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the entire watershed. FTR is encouraged by the Bureau of Reclamation’s recent decision to involve the public in the scoping process, to expand the study area to the entire Henry’s Fork Watershed, and to include not only a consideration of rebuilding a new dam on the Teton River, but alternative options such as water conservation and optimization, and a variety of off-stream storage options. FTR would like to strongly encourage the public to participate in the upcoming Henry’s Fork Basin Special Water Study to make sure all stakeholder interests are met. See how you can get involved in this process below.

For more information on America’s Most Endangered Rivers™ please visit the link below:

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June 4, 2010

Runoff. It's on. Finally!

It may be two - three weeks late, but here we go. Jackson Lake, which the Snake River near Flagg Ranch flows into before being released out of Jackson Lake Dam is currently at 92% of capacity. 

The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced that they will begin ramping up flows out of Jackson Lake Dam over the next three days, bringing it up from 400 cfs to 1400 cfs. This change in operations is sparked by a recent and dramatic upsurge in runoff above Jackson Lake.

On Monday, June 7th, B of R will make an assessment to determine if additional released are required. Either way, things are moving in the right direction for fishing up there. The higher the flows at JLD, the better.

Boots Allen,
Snake River Angler, report.


 Down in the Snake River Canyon, the runoff appears to be more than a month behind last years schedule. Don't forget that the past two winters brought record breaking numbers for snowpack totals. This season we're currently at 88% of snow water equivalent. That's up nearly 20% since early April. 
OK. Let's move on already from all the rain and give us some warmer temps for the fishing tournament.

Jackson Hole Bassmaster 2nd Annual Bass Tournament


Stay tuned for updates. 


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