The South Fork of the Boise River from Anderson Ranch Dam to Neal Bridge is the premier wild rainbow trout fishery in southwest Idaho. Located less than a 90-minute drive from downtown Boise, the South Fork has been a highly valued fishery for many fly fishermen for 30 years since blue ribbon fishing rules were instituted.
Recent evidence suggests this fishery may be in decline. With the significant population growth in southern Idaho, fishing pressure has increased to the point where interested angler groups and government agencies are paying attention to the status of the fishery.
Our work is a collaborative effort with the US Forest Service, US Bureau of Reclamation, Idaho Fish and Game, Boise State University (BSU), US Geological Survey, volunteers from the Ted Trueblood Trout Unlimited chapter, Boise Valley Fly Fishermen, and TU national staff. Neighboring Trout Unlimited chapters (Magic Valley Fly Fishermen, Hemingway) are also interested in participating.
Our specific conservation objectives are:
Identify the demographic mechanisms leading to the observed age-class distribution of trout in the South Fork Boise River
Determine the component of the population most likely being impacted negatively, and to better identify causalities of observed redband trout decline
Identify management and restoration activities to ameliorate this decline, i.e., whether to prioritize:
(1) restoring habitat within the focal stretch of river that is important for the growth of these larger fish and facilitating passage for migratory fish;
(2) improving spawning and rearing habitat for younger age classes in and adjacent to the focal reach of river;
(3) improving rearing habitat for younger age classes in the headwater habitats.
For more information – contact us via our general distribution email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you may contact Mike Toalson (TU) at 208-899-8612 or Dick Frencer (BVFF) at 208-362-1857 about volunteer and sponsorship opportunities.