Silver Creek's high-desert spring-fed creek attracts an abundance of wildlife and human visitors each year
Silver Creek Silver Creek's high-desert spring-fed creek attracts an abundance of wildlife and human visitors each year © Donna Beran

Newsroom

The Nature Conservancy Reopens Limited Access to Fishing at Silver Creek Preserve

Effective August 11, Fishing will be Allowed 9am - Sunset

Due to sustained improvements in stream conditions, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is reopening access to fishing at Silver Creek Preserve during limited hours. Effective August 11, access to fishing will be allowed daily from 9am – Sunset. Ongoing monitoring has shown sustained stream temperatures have improved and are consistently below the high-risk threshold. Dissolved oxygen levels are considered safe for fish during this window of time but remain dangerously low in the early morning. 

Morning restrictions are necessary because dissolved oxygen concentrations are at their lowest during these times. Low dissolved oxygen levels can cause fish stress and mortality. TNC only implements precautionary actions when stream temperatures exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit and/or dissolved oxygen levels are below 4 mg/L for sustained periods of time. Recent data recordings have shown stream temperatures remained below 70 degrees for the past 7 days and dissolved oxygen levels improving to above 4 mg/L around 9am each day. This data indicates that limited fishing restrictions remain necessary to protect the health of the fishery during times of the day when natural stressors are greatest.

“We are inspired by the community’s outpouring of support and care for the health of this special fishery, especially after our difficult decision to close access to fishing last month,” says Erika Phillips, Watershed Manager for TNC. “Over the long term, The Nature Conservancy is focused on water conservation and habitat restoration strategies, at Silver Creek and throughout Idaho, that build greater resiliency in severe circumstances like the ones we’ve experienced this summer.”

For the first time since TNC began stewarding the Preserve, access to fishing was fully closed on July 1 due to deteriorating stream conditions caused by the unprecedented heat wave and drought. This summer’s extreme heat and drought in the Wood River Valley and across Idaho underscores the need to find long-term solutions that mitigate climate impacts and build resiliency for our communities and environment.

“We’re seeing the impacts of climate change across the state through declining levels of snowpack and rising temperatures, and we anticipate that Idaho’s water supplies will continue to fluctuate in future years,” says Neil Crescenti, Agriculture Program Manager at TNC. “As a community, we all need to be a part of the solutions for better use and management of water as we adapt to these changing conditions.”

TNC appreciates anglers’ cooperation in limiting handling and minimizing stress when fishing at Silver Creek Preserve. Whenever possible, please keep fish in the water while the hook is removed.

TNC will continue monitoring stream conditions on a biweekly basis. Fishing access restrictions are subject to change based on ongoing monitoring. Please visit facebook.com/SilverCreekPreserve for the latest updates or contact the Silver Creek Preserve office at silvercreek@tnc.org or 208-788-7910.

 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.