Henrys Lake sees more shoreline restoration collaborative efforts
ISLAND PARK, Idaho – This has been a busy and productive year for a portion of Henrys Lake managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Wildlife, residents, and anglers in southeast Idaho will all benefit from ongoing collaborative efforts to restore the western Henrys Lake shorelines and improve lake water quality.
On Oct. 21, more than a dozen people showed up for a fall planting of native dogwood and willow trees. BLM’s Upper Snake Field Office Fisheries, Hydrology, Range, Wildlife, and Weeds specialists were joined by volunteers from the Henrys Lake Foundation and the Henrys Fork Wildlife Alliance for this one-day native shrub planting project. The effort focused on actively eroding sections of the shorelines currently dominated by upland vegetation.
Earlier shoreline restoration efforts performed in May included construction of nearly a mile of new wildlife-friendly fence and planting 496 willow stakes. In August, a survey counted 375 sprouted stakes for about 75% season one survival. The fall planting utilized 30 native Coyote Willow (Salix exigua) and 40 Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) saplings contained in 5-gallon pots with plant heights up to 6 feet. These riparian species can be found at various other places around Henrys Lake.
“The old adage was true today – many hands make for light work” said project lead, BLM’s Fisheries Biologist Ryan Beatty. “What the workers did in just a few hours will benefit the lake and surrounding habitat for years to come.”
Volunteers planted the containers at the base of the actively eroding slopes to provide roughness, dissipate wave erosion energy, and provide shoreline vegetation complexity. Ideally, these plants will hold eroded sediments and bank slough-off to reduce further erosion in the future. Winter’s winds and ice will be the next challenge for all of this year’s restoration work.
Beatty added that biologists plan to measure the success of this year’s work before planning future projects. More bank stabilization and wetland restoration should be done, according to Beatty.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.