Big Wood River Aquatic and Habitat Assessment


By DeSiree Fawn

Blaine County, Idaho - ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Today, the United States Geological Survey began its Aquatic Biology and Habitat Assessment in the Wood River Valley. The assessment will pull data from eight locations along the big wood river.

Today’s survey was the most northern location, near the SNRA. The study will reach as far south as Silver Creek. They are looking at the biological communities in the Big Wood River and how they relate to the water quality in the area. The study is also assessing water temperature and flow.

“Typically, our partners provide half the funding or more, but typically do not participate in the actual work. On this one, we’re very fortunate, to have The Nature Conservancy, and Trout Unlimited, and Wood River Land Trust, participating with us directly in the field collection of this data,” said Michael Lewis, Director of the U.S. Geological Survey with the Water Science Center.

The team uses electro-fishing to temporarily stun the fish to take samples. Perhaps we aren’t all cut out to do field work and data collection, but we can understand why river health is important to the entire Wood River Valley community.

“People come to visit to fish. We’ve got people that hike along the river, walk their dogs along the river, skiing. Everything is connected. Also, our agricultural community is dependent on some of the water in the Big Wood River watershed,” said Chad Chorney, Trout Unlimited.

The water assessment is intended to set a base for which future research can be compared. The results will be available to the public once the study is completed.

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