ISLAND PARK, Idaho (KIFI) – Wildlife, residents and anglers in southeast Idaho will all benefit from collaborative efforts to restore the Henrys Lake shorelines and improve lake water quality.
The Bureau of Land Management Upper Snake Field Office, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Henrys Lake Foundation worked together to design and construct nearly a mile of new wildlife-friendly fence and plant willows on the western shore of Henrys Lake.
The fence, built just south of Frome Park, will remove grazing use from the shoreline and bolster vegetation, reduce erosion and improve water quality. In addition to the newly constructed portions, workers tore out some old, ineffective fencing.
“Sometimes coordinating volunteers can be like herding cats, but what we’ve accomplished here has been truly inspiring,” said project lead, BLM’s Ryan Beatty, Fisheries Biologist. “What the workers did in just a few days will benefit the lake and surrounding habitat for years to come.”
To accelerate vegetation recovery in the same area, volunteers also planted around 500 willow stakes along the eroding shoreline. BLM staff harvested the stakes nearby from robust native willows appropriate for the setting. The trees that root and establish will benefit the shoreline by adding roughness and resistance to wave action erosion.
Trout Unlimited, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Henrys Lake Foundation, and the Henrys Fork Wildlife Alliance provided many volunteer hours of appreciated labor. The Henrys Lake Foundation was integral to completion of the project, providing $10,000 in project materials, volunteers and lunches to crews.