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The Economic Value of Fishing in the Henry’s Fork Watershed

Anglers travel from around the country to fish the waters of the Henry’s Fork watershed, spending tens of millions of dollars within the region. Assessing changes in angler preferences and spending can help managers develop conservation strategies and prioritize access improvements. This study is the first since 2004 to assess angler effort

and demographics, and net economic contribution of angling in the watershed. Surveys were distributed to anglers on Henrys Lake (2016), Henry’s Fork and tributaries (2017), and the upper Teton River (2018). Idaho Department of Fish and Game and other partners estimated angler effort from 2017-2019. HFF then estimated the economic contribution of nonresident-angler spending to the economy in Fremont, Madison, Teton, Clark, Jefferson, and Bonneville counties in Idaho. This study is one of the first to assess the additional economic contributions of part-year residents.

A few of the key findings include:

  • Angler effort and spending on Henrys Lake and Henry’s Fork changed relatively little between 2003- 04 and 2017-19, averaging around 150,000 angler days and $50 million (inflation-adjusted).

  • In 2017, 64 percent of angling effort on the Henry’s Fork occurred downstream of Riverside Campground, compared with only 38 percent in 2004.

  • Part-year resident anglers pay an estimated $14 million in annual property taxes within the region.

  • Henrys Lake and Henry’s Fork anglers place the highest value on catching trophy-sized fish, whereas Teton River anglers value catching native Cutthroat Trout.

To read the full economic report, click here.

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