December 2019


Upcoming Events


Salt Lake 


February 28, 2020
6:00 - 9:00 PM

What You Might Have Missed in HFF News

1986 Island Park Villager Fishing Report

A Tribute to HFF's Founders

High Trout Numbers Continue in the South Fork Snake River​​​​​​​

Thank You for 35 Years

Winter Flow Update

Join the Henry's Fork Community on Social Media

There are a lot of exciting things happening in 
Henry's Fork country that you want to know about!

Learn more about what's going on, from field work to fundraising events, by following HFF on social media! 

The South Fork Initiative is on Social Media

Stay in the loop on flow changes and projects by following the South Fork Initiative on social media or by emailing Bryce.


Join HFF on a Hosted Trip!

Show your support for the Foundation while experiencing incredible fishing around the world! 

Featured Trip: 

Patagonia Coyahaiqua, Chile


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Shop and support HFF at the same time!


Water Year 2019 Recap and Winter 2019-2020 Flow Set​​​​​​​

On Temperature
April-June temperature is an important predictor of snowmelt timing in our watershed. Trend-predicted temperature for 2019 was 44.5 degrees, but actual temperature was 42.4 degrees. That’s the coldest spring since 2011. A few degrees may not seem like much, but beating the trend by two degrees this year was worth about 8,000 ac-ft in Island Park Reservoir, which in turn had a large positive effect on water quality and many other factors.

There were only three years in which April-June temperature was colder than this year’s since 2000. There were nine years colder than this year in the 11-year period from 1989 to 1999. Mean April-June temperature for 1989-1999 was 40.9 degrees, whereas mean April-June temperature since 2000 was 43.4 degrees. A few degrees may not seem like much, but timing of runoff moves roughly 4 days earlier for each degree F increase in springtime temperature. So, beating the trend by two degrees this year moved runoff 8 days later than expected.

On Natural Flow

In water year 2019 (which ended Oct 1), despite well above-average snowpack and precipitation, natural flow in the watershed ended up at only 98% of the 1978-2018 average (97% of average in the upper Henry’s Fork), ranking 21st out of the past 42 water years. However, water supply in the upper Henry’s Fork improved for the third year in a row and was above the 1930-2019 average for the first time since 2012.  

A few potential reasons for this 98% of average natural flow: 1) quite a bit of our precipitation happened too late in the year to impact flow (heavy precipitation in Sept moved water-year total precip from 106% of avg to 114% of avg in 3 weeks), 2) a lot of precipitation fell in the upper watershed (Island Park area), which is groundwater dominated (we will see the benefits over the next few years), and 3) we had a very dry late summer/fall last year leaving us with fairly low soil moisture to begin with.  

Read Rob's blog to learn more about how Water Year 2019 shaped up.

On Winter Flow

Outflow from Island Park Reservoir was increased to 500 cfs in early December (roughly equal to inflow). As of early December, the reservoir was about 88% full. Average content for that time is 85,596 ac-ft (63% full). All other factors being equal, this difference is worth an additional 169 cfs of winter flow below the dam. Average winter flow is 350 cfs, so we anticipate that flow will average somewhere between 500 and 520 cfs over the winter, which will be the third winter in a row of outflow greater than 500 cfs. The last time that happened was 1998, 1999, and 2000. Outflow will be adjusted by small amounts as necessary to keep the reservoir near its current level, but below 120,000 ac-ft.  

To receive Rob's daily water report, email
Close Out 2019 With A Year End Donation
Help us kick off the New Year by making a year end donation. We need your help to continue crucial conservation efforts on the Henry's Fork!

Receive an incredible gift as a thank you for your donation of $50 or more.  For example, for a donation of $2,500 or more you’ll receive your choice of LOOP 7X fly rods (3-10 wt)!

Less is more! 

When designing these rods, the main focus has been on creating a rod that loads with a relative short casting stroke. Instead of the usual fast action design with a soft tip, and a stiff lower part, these rods have a relative stiffer tip compared to the lower sections. Therefor these rods will load deep with a short casting stroke, but with a tip solid enough to keep and point out the direction.

Think outside the circle!

This 7-sided rod has less twist than a round rod.

Fast Recovery!

The action in the 7X rods secures the rod to kick forward instead of downwards, which makes less disturbance and better direction of the line.

PLUS Patagonia has generously pledged to match your donations made on Patagonia Action Works.  That means you can double your Year End donation!


Thank You for 35 Years - Here's to 35 More!

In 2019, we are celebrating 35 years of conservation on the Henry’s Fork with gratitude. We want to celebrate this anniversary by thanking the founders, members, partners, and local community who have made our work possible. This river remains vibrant and healthy because of you. Your foresight, dedication, and love for this river paved the way for over three decades of conservation effort and galvanized an entire community around the desire to protect this place for generations to come. 

We are grateful for the past 35 years and will carry our approach to science-based, collaborative conservation into the next 35 years. Here's to being innovative, collaborative, and proactive. Here's to rising fish, dry flies, and the catch of a lifetime. Here's to 35 more years protecting the river we love.

Thank you for all you do for this river. It's all thanks to you.


Crucial Work Underway to Enhance the Upper River

The Henry’s Fork near Mack’s Inn is full of cool, clear water with abundant insects, so why is that upper river fishery less productive than the Ranch, for instance? With continued development in the Mack’s Inn area and limited knowledge about the fishery there, HFF began a four-year project assessing factors that might be limiting fishery production. Led by PhD student, Jack McLaren, the project is tackling a few key questions:
- In Box Canyon, we know winter flows are the most significant factor influencing trout populations. What is the equivalent of “winter flow” for Mack’s Inn? 

- Existing research indicates nutrients from a wastewater treatment plant may increase aquatic plant growth, but how might plant growth affect trout populations and individual fish growth?  

Keep an eye out for future communications about this upper river project and email Jack McLaren at for more information.
What Can Science Tell Us About How to Improve Lower River Habitat?
In 2019, Utah State University PhD student and former HFF intern, Christina Morrisett began a long-term project on the lower Henry’s Fork to assess surface water and groundwater impacts on fish and insect habitat to help inform water management for the benefit of fisheries. She wants to help managers meet irrigation needs, while also having enough water in the river for fish and aquatic species. Here is a sneak peak at what she’s learned in her first year of the project. 

- Fishing below St. Anthony is great in the fall, but turns off in the summer. This is because despite managing this section for a summer low-flow target, the target does not account for irrigation diversions downstream that take additional water from the river. 

- When Christina and HFF staff collected streamflow data between St. Anthony and Parker from July-October, they found that the river gained water in that stretch in mid-July, when diversions from the river were highest and flow was lowest.* 

- In late July, the average temperature of groundwater seeping into the lower Henry’s Fork was 58 degrees F, whereas the average temperature of the river was 65 degrees F. These groundwater seeps may provide refuge for trout from warmer water during summer months.  

To learn more about the lower river project, email or follow @lowerhenrysfork on Instagram.  

 *In future years, Christina will be investigating return flows that might be contributing water back into the river.
New Faces at HFF
The Henry's Fork Foundation has welcomed some new and familiar faces to our staff in recent years. Here are a few members of the HFF team you may not have met yet!

Darcy Janssen, Finance and Office Administrator 
Darcy joined the HFF team in the spring of 2017 as the Finance and Office Administrator. She has the responsibility of managing the company’s financial tasks such as payroll and budgeting.   

Matt Hively, Conservation Technician
Matt began working for the Foundation in February 2019 as a Conservation Technician. Matt operates and maintains watershed-wide monitoring sites and conducts crucial field work on the Henry’s Fork.  

Devan Ence, Conservation Fund Coordinator 
Devan started with the Foundation in April 2019 as the Conservation Fund Coordinator. Devan assists with the development of HFF’s fundraising and membership campaigns.  

Kate Warner, Aquatic Resources Coordinator 
Kate joined the foundation in June 2019. As the Aquatic Resources Coordinator she is responsible for overseeing HFF’s water quality program and monitoring regulatory, permitting, and river access issues. 
Kamberlee Allison, Education and Outreach Coordinator 
Kamberlee joined the Foundation as an intern in June 2018. After the internship, Kamberlee was asked to stay on for an additional year as a Conservation Technician. Starting in November 2019, Kamberlee became a full-time staff member in a new position, Education and Outreach Coordinator, assisting with everything from internship program logistics and youth education to operations and outreach.