My name is Ethan Taylor, and I am a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho studying chemistry. I grew up in Rigby, Idaho and currently reside in Rexburg where I attend school and travel to Ashton for work. Throughout my childhood, I have done all sorts of outdoors recreational activities, including hiking, fishing, and camping. These experiences outdoors led me to my interest in environmental studies and conservation, was solidified as I learned about our changing climate.
Before my summer internship with the Henry’s Fork Foundation began, I worked with HFF and Idaho Fish and Game on the South Fork Rainbow Trout Suppression Initiative. For six weeks, I worked on electroshocking and removing rainbow trout from the South Fork and moved them to locations where their numbers were dwindling or where fishing was good for anglers. This project was started and completed with a lot of help from HFF and my mentor Bryce Oldemeyer. The Idaho Fish and Game's goal was to remove 12,000 fish, which is 30% of the rainbow population. We removed nearly 11,000 rainbow trout and expect angler harvest to make up the rest that we did not remove.
Pictured above is a photo of me holding the largest rainbow trout we found while electroshocking through the South Fork Rainbow Trout suppression effort. It was 28 inches long and weighed 10 pounds!
After this job ended, I started as a full-time intern at the Henry’s Fork Foundation. I am the local intern at HFF this year and will be working with the foundation until much later this year. Some of the work that I’ll be doing includes fence monitoring at Last Chance and Pinehaven. At these locations, I will make sure the fence is intact and that cattle don’t get across it and enter the water. I will also be taking organic matter samples from various locations as well as water samples for analysis.
Some of my other duties as an intern is to work on further South Fork Initiative conservation projects. I will be surveying and documenting restoration sites on the South Fork, mainly by using a drone to collect footage of the sites. This footage will help me gain a clear picture of the “before and after” effects of a restoration project. I will document restoration projects in their entirety, and this documentation can then be used to show how successful our work is, and hopefully bring in more grants for future projects. I enjoy this work and I hope to continue improving the health of the South Fork.
Pictured above is a photo of the Rainey Creek restoration site, one of the sites I will be surveying this summer.