Bow River Access in Calgary

Calgary River Users Alliance

The Calgary River Users’ Alliance (CRUA) was formed in January 2016 to improve recreational boating access to Calgary’s Bow and Elbow Rivers.   It will also address other needs and concerns that are common to recreational river users.  The CRUA consists of representatives of recreation and conservation groups and businesses in the city, including canoeing, kayaking, rafting, paddle-boarding, river surfing, and fishing. We started on a venture to improve river access in the City of Calgary that would increase visitors to Calgary to fish the world renowned Bow River trout fishery and paddling activities in and around Calgary.

In May 2016, the City of Calgary closed Glenmore Boat Ramp, the last remaining public access point to the public in early May and began denying access to Bowness Park for paddling groups. These actions eliminated any drift boat fly fishing within the City of Calgary, made it difficult for RiverWatch to operate the school rafting program and prevented clubs and businesses from using the Bowness eddies. CRUA together with our member groups, Alberta Whitewater Association and Paddle Alberta issued a press release expressing our concerns with the actions taken that would have a serious impact to the commercial guiding businesses and recreational river use.

Since the Press Release CRUA has been working with Councillors Keating and Cara, the Parks and Fire Departments to find a way to solve short and long term river access. It is expected that City Council will address this issue in mid-June with a directive for city administration to look at a river recreation management strategy. In support of these actions CRUA was asked to supply the economic impact of recreation river use to the City of Calgary’s economy.

Attached please find the two documents that support the economic impact to the City of Calgary and a need for a River Recreation Management Plan.

CRUA is positioned as an organization representing 16-member river user groups to advocate to improved recreation river use that will offer local business the opportunity to grow and contribute further to Calgary’s economy. Well-designed river access will enhance Calgary’s image to all recreation visitors furthering Calgary as a vibrant community to work and play.

We would welcome your support to ensure that paddlers can utilize the Bow and Elbow Rivers in Calgary.

The Case for a River Management Plan.pdf

CRUA -Economic Position Statement to City of Calgary Revise 19 May 2016 (2).pdf


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