Friday, August 14, 2020
Copper Basin and Upper Big Lost River Under Microscope
Ed Northen took this photo of a cutthroat trout on Wildhorse Creek.
Monday, February 4, 2019



The Upper Big Lost River Basin is an incredible geologic area with diverse habitat and many different rivers, streams and lakes that are prized by anglers.

But the area, which includes the Copper Basin, also has many resource use challenges, which impact the health of fisheries and the fish.

Ed Northen took this photo of the East Fork of the Big Lost River near Burma Road.

Learn about the health of the trout fisheries in this wild area during Thursday’s meeting of Trout Unlimited’s Hemingway Chapter.

The program, free to the public, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at Whiskey Jacques, 521 N. Main St., in Ketchum.

The presentation will feature Idaho Fish and Game Regional Fisheries Manager Jon Flinders, U.S. Forest Service Fish Biologist Bart Gamett and Pat Moore, hatchery manager at the Mackay Fish Hatchery.

Old-timers are rife with stories of how great the fishing was back in the day. But one does not have to look too far in the past to see a decline in the fisheries in these basins in only a couple of decades.

Thursday’s speakers will discuss the waters, which include rainbow, cutthroat, golden and brook trout, which are actually a char. The waters also include Grayling and a unique strain of Mountain White Fish that are the only native fish to the area.

The fisheries are impacted by grazing, mining, off-road vehicle use, ranching, outfitters, equestrians, campers, hunters, hikers and , of course, anglers.

Another issue which may be having a significant impact is climate change. While this may not be controllable, management practices can help offset impacts, which are certain to increase in the future.

Speakers will try to answer whether there a single issue or event that’s impacting the fisheries’ health or whether there is a much more complex aggregate of issues.


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