Concerns for the Bow River fishery have come early this year with higher than normal temperature and low river flows. Hopefully conditions will improve, but the weather forecast are not encouraging.
On June 30, 2016 the Alberta Government issued an advisory that ” Significantly low flows coupled with consistent high temperatures, have created an increased risk to fish populations”. Details in the following link Alberta News Release
River flows out of the Bow River’s Ghost and Bearspaw Dams have been consistently low this spring due to low snow packs and little rain.
Flow forecasts are expected to continue the same trend.
In addition, the Bow River reservoirs upstream of Calgary are extremely low.Without further rain it is unlikely that normal fill capacity will be met. This will leave very little opportunity to release water to increase flows downstream if the conditions worsen. Bow River Storage Capacity
Under the provincial advisory anglers have been asked to:
Fish in stocked ponds and lakes
Fish early in the mornings (avoid fishing in the heat of the day)
Minimize handing time and release fish as quickly as possible.Go to the following link for details, Fish Handling Techniques
If temperatures remain high and Bow River flows continue to be low the threat to the trout population will increase to a level where fish kill can be expected. Will we see a fishery closure in 2016 to protect vulnerable fish? If the scientific evidence is there – Yes.
Play your part as an angler and do what you can to minimize fish mortality.