June 2009: Remembering the Big One

Only two years ago I was immersed in the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley in northern California, working as a software company executive traveling the world building large scale computer applications. With the corporate life now behind me, I can enjoy the beauty and grandeur of Henry’s Lake and the surrounding area each and every day. The view of the lake and the centennials every morning gives me quite a different perspective, one that is built upon history, people, and appreciation for this beautiful environment. Certainly not something I would have otherwise anticipated years ago in the corporate world.

As I think about the history of the Henry’s Lake Foundation and the yeoman’s efforts of this entirely volunteer organization and what it has accomplished over its 27 year history, I am drawn by a feeling of compassion, respect, and motivation. The goals set out by our founders were broad and comprehensive. They understood the importance of what needed to be protected so that future generations could enjoy the fishery. Not surprisingly the organization’s membership is passionate about these same goals.

The Henry’s Lake Foundation is guided by a board of directors with incredibly diverse backgrounds. They each bring their own unique perspective of priorities, benefits and ultimately stewardship of this incredible fishery. It is their collective input and wisdom that guides our project prioritization and funding.

It is very much a team effort with a balanced focus on natural production, hatchery production, water quality and fishery management. Much of what is accomplished each year by the HLF goes un-noticed by the majority of people who enjoy the fishery. Many folks have never even heard about us but as we continue to drive awareness it is important that our fund raising efforts adequately support our project endeavors.

The Henry’s Lake Foundation Day on the 4th of July at the Henry’s Lake State Park is one such event that is critical to our fund raising efforts. It is the generosity and support of the local merchants who make this event possible. I invite everyone to come out and meet the team and learn about what they can do to contribute to this great organization.

One of the greatest things about the Henry’s Lake Foundation is our partnerships with the related local, state and federal agencies. These partnerships make it possible for the foundation to leverage our monies raised with co-funding by these agencies. Central to driving these agreements is the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

It is with the incredible efforts of individuals like Damon Keen, our resident fisheries biologist, that make our stewardship goals achievable. We are forever indebted to Damon and his team at the IDFG. When you are out on the lake trying to catch the big one, think about us. Realize that the big one is a possibility because of the efforts of the foundation. Hybrids are properly sterilized, protecting the native Yellowstone Cutthroat, because of the foundation. Brook trout stocking was successfully re-introduced in 2003 based upon the efforts of the foundation. The cutthroat egg take at the fish trap, over 4 million eggs annually, was made more efficient through the efforts of the foundation. Adfluvial fish migration during spawning season is enhanced through the riparian habitat improvement efforts of the foundation.

All of these efforts combine to provide an incredible fishery and place of recreation to be enjoyed by all. I wish everyone a tremendous summer with great fishing days and time to enjoy the beauty of this wonderful place, a place many of us can now enjoy for the rest of lives. If you want to get involved in the foundation, please visit our website at or call 208-558-9660. I look forward to meeting everyone at the picnic on the 4th of July at the Henry’s Lake State Park. Tight lines!