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The untimely event of June 22nd leaves us with heavy hearts and a lingering disbelief.  Arn Berglund, 70 years  old and a long time member and leader of the Snake River Cutthroats, was killed in a traffic collision while riding his bicycle.

Arn, a unique personality, championed protection of cold-water fisheries and their habitat both professionally and in retirement. As much as time permitted, he was in the field conducting, directing, or planning actions to preserve or improve.

These, for Arn, were lifetime commitments. They began in southwestern Connecticut with limited natural habitat. He learned fly fishing through visits to Connecticut’s Farmington River drainage where he also began ice fishing. In doing these activities he came to know the seasonal changes of the natural world. But Connecticut was limited for his growing outdoor interests, so it was off to the University of Idaho to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries management.  After completion, he did seasonal jobs in such as Idaho’s Clearwater drainage. Then Arn went on to Winnemucca, Nevada to study the status of cutthroat and red band trout. Next was a move to Utah state BLM office for more agency fisheries studies. When in the early 2000s an opening arrived in the Idaho Falls Bureau of Land Management office, he applied for then filled the opening to conduct frequent field studies. Colleagues recall his good nature and energy while in the office being tasked to compile results.  Such characteristics gained him hunting and fishing companions from among fellow workers. He discovered upland game bird and pheasant hunting, and through these offered some wildlife actions. When hunting season came about off went his fly-fishing hat and on went his hunting hat. With beloved dogs in tow, it was off to the hills.  Winter meant ice fishing and coaching youth hockey teams.

But the status of regional cold-water fisheries was always in mind. Continuing through retirement years he tackled cold water fish situations on waters large and small. From endangered cutthroat trout in the east in such as Tincup Creek and Grays Lake Outlet to endangered bull trout in the Little Lost River and other drainage’s to the west, it was pure joy for Arn to apply efforts and skills to their well being.  Fisheries study also entered his private life: wife, Laura, is a practicing fisheries biologist for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Pocatello. Son Eric became, like his dad, a fly fisher of note.  He joined the Snake River Cutthroats (SRC) a Trout Unlimited and Fly-Fishing International affiliate and quickly became the conservation chairperson. It was a natural action because of his connection with agency personnel and his own passion for natural resources. From there he moved on to chair the East Idaho Fly Tying and Fly-Fishing Expo and organizing youth and volunteer actions within. Then in 2021 he became president of the SRC for two years always continuing conservation activities.

Few are the persons as dedicated and accomplished as is Arn in his chosen field. The same can be said about his generosity in sharing status information. The name “A Trout’s Best Friend” was fashioned for Bud Lilly years ago. In east Idaho we have another person worthy of that name. That person is the unforgettable Arn Peter Berglund.


(Thanks goes to Dan Kotansky, LeRoy Cook, Madison Hyde and Eric Berglund for help with article)


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