No matter what their connection is to a river, people are what fisheries management is all about. A common saying in resource management is that “it’s as much about the fish as it is about the people involved." That's also what you will hear folks say who are restoring the historic Blackfoot River's cutthroat trout fishery.
The relationships formed between land users, conservation groups and resource managers exemplify Idaho's commitment to keeping natural treasures alive and fostering a tradition of multiple use. A great example is the long-term restoration project on the Blackfoot River aimed at reviving what was once among Idaho’s best resident trout streams.
The Blackfoot River and Blackfoot Reservoir used to provide anglers a remarkable fishing opportunity for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and with help from many stakeholders, that opportunity is on its way to being a reality once again. Aquatic habitat has gradually improved in the river due to diverse and ongoing efforts and partnerships, which have changed land-use practices and enhanced areas where severe habitat impacts occurred in the past.
Fish and Game led the effort by working with a variety of partners, from industry to conservation organizations, such as the Upper Blackfoot Confluence, to get things done on a drainage-wide scale. Collectively, these efforts are improving river quality and restoring fishing opportunity for some of the largest lake-run cutthroat trout in the West.
To learn more about these projects, watch these videos that explore and celebrate the fruits of an ongoing partnership with the upper Blackfoot River community. To learn more about Fish and Game's habitat improvement project go here.