June 25, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Ed Northen: 208-788-316
Trout Unlimited’s Upper Big Lost Project Will Receive Proceeds From Silver Creek Outfitters Film Festival
KETCHUM, ID – The Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) will receive the proceeds from this year’s Silver Creek Outfitters Fly Fishing film festival and will dedicate the funds to efforts to help protect and restore the upper Big Lost River’s trout fishery.
The film festival, which is in its third year, will be held Thursday, June 26th, 2008 at the NexStage Theater in Ketchum. The goal of film festival is to educate, inspire and entertain anglers with the latest independent films dedicated to the sport of fly fishing.
Each year the film festival’s host chooses a local non-profit that works on protecting and conserving the land and water in and around the Big Wood River valley.
“We are very grateful to Terry Ring of Silver Creek Outfitters for the decision to dedicate the proceeds from the film festival to TU’s work on the upper Big Lost Project,” said Ed Northen, President of the Hemingway Chapter.
The Hemingway Chapter will provide the proceeds it receives to a project under way by the National Office of TU to help restore the upper Big Lost’s fishery.
While the upper Big Lost fishery is well known to anglers, it has been virtually undocumented by fisheries managers until recently. In the early 1980’s, anglers reported significant population declines in the upper Big Lost of both native and sport fish. Since 2004, TU has been collaborating with landowners and state and federal agencies by taking a three-pronged approach to answer the questions behind the trout declines and to implement plans to recover the fishery – researching fish populations, reconnecting flows throughout the Big Lost, and restoring priority habitat throughout the watershed.
Recent work in the watershed evaluated fishing-related mortality, fish habitat degradation, water quantity, grazing, water quality, whirling disease, and fish stocking as potential causes of fishery declines. Continued low trout populations have sparked renewed interest in harvest being a possible factor suppressing trout populations in the river. Due to this fact, TU is now partnering with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to conduct a new angler survey to help determine the impact of harvest on trout populations.
TU and its partners have also been evaluating and removing barriers to fish passage on the river, working with irrigators throughout the valley to implement creative tools and restoring and enhancing habitat throughout the upper Big Lost River. Recent restoration projects include fencing almost two miles of private land, restoring riparian areas on US Forest Service managed lands, and evaluating stream geomorphology for potential restoration on the East Fork of the Big Lost River.
A number of landowners have also restored important spring creeks above Mackay Reservoir. These restored spring creeks provide pristine water for fish that migrate between them, Mackay Reservoir, and the upper Big Lost River.
“Every dollar that we receive from the film festival will go directly into helping to fund the work directed at the upper Big Lost’s trout fishery – a critically important effort that will help to protect and restore this important resource,” said Kim Goodman Trotter, the director of Trout Unlimited’s Idaho Water Office.
Those interested in volunteering to help with this year’s restoration efforts in the upper Big Lost, contact TU at (208) 552-0891 x. 717.