Monday, August 02, 2010

Really Big Trout

To start the week, here are two big fish photos from our Idaho preserves. The above photo was taken at Flat Ranch Preserve, on the headwaters of the Henry's Fork in Macks Inn.

The Henry's Fork Foundation recently conducted an electro-shocking survey of a stretch of the preserve's waters where a habitat restoration project was recently completed. The 24-inch Yellowstone cutthroat is one of the fish they caught and released during the survey.

The Henry's Fork Outlet that runs through Flat Ranch is not very big water. Most would not guess it holds fish like this.

The Yellowstone cutthroat is the native fish of these waters, and is imperiled due to the usual enemies of native trout: loss of habitat and competition from non-native fishes. It's great so see these fish still surviving on the Flat Ranch. The habitat restoration offers a hopeful future for these beautiful fish.
And here's a fish caught--by fly fishing, not electro-shocking--by the Conservancy's East Idaho conservation manager, Chet Work, on Silver Creek Preserve.
Chet recently accepted the position of executive director for the Teton Regional Land Trust, so we like to think of this as his going-away present.
Words like "passion" and "obsession" don't quite capture Chet's enthusiasm for fishing. This is someone who, quite literally, sets hooks in his sleep. He has spent some late nights chasing the monster browns of Silver Creek.
And while he's not saying what fly caught the trout, another recent Silver Creek blog post might hold a clue.
Having snorkeled much of the preserve last week, I can also assure you that I saw plenty of other behemoth trout--including a few that could pass for this one's "big brother"--swimming the waters.
They're out there, lurking beneath the surface. We'd love to see your photos if you have any luck.
In the meantime, we'd like to again take this opportunity to thank Chet for his five outstanding years with the Conservancy, and wish him the best as he continues to work towards protecting Idaho's most special places.
Cutthroat trout photo by Flat Ranch Preserve intern Bryan Kloster.

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