2017 has become a pivotal year for the Bow River fishery. With a higher than normal snow pack there was optimism that elevated flow in the spring would scour out many reaches of the river and returning the Bow River fish habitat to historical norms.
All started well with a gradual snow pack melt, some good early season fishing and only moderated flow increases. But the spring rains never came! Flows started to drop in July and temperatures started to rise. Alberta Environment & Parks issued a flow advisory and voluntary restrictions to fishing between midnight and 2 PM that are still in place today.
There have been concerns expressed within the fishing community over the water management directives for the Bow River and how they can be changed to assure protection of the fishery. Bow River Trout consulted with the water management authorities and reference material to prepared the following report:
Reference is made in the report to a recent press release from Shannon Philips, Minister, Alberta Environment & Parks, where the department has made a commitment to act upon the short-term recommendation on an expert committee for enhancement of flood protection and minimal flows within the Bow River Basin. Once complete, there would appear to be the potential for higher river flows during the summer months.
It is hoped that dialog will continue with an enhanced awareness of the importance of the Bow River fishery to the local economy.