Blue Ribbon Bow Dinner – February 21, 2018

News Release

Bow River Trout Foundation is pleased to announce that tickets are now on sale for the Blue Ribbon Bow Dinner at the Calgary Petroleum Club on Wednesday February 21, 2018.

The Bow River is recognized around the world as one of the best destinations to catch a “Once in a Lifetime” Brown or Rainbow Trout.

With this in mind we are pleased to announce that Ross Purnell, Editor, Fly Fisherman Magazine as our keynote speaker.

Ross will bring a unique perspective to the audience. Born and raised in Calgary, Ross started his love of fishing on the banks of the Bow River. His journalist career has taken him around the world to many great sport fisheries. We will receive a picture of how the Blue Ribbon Bow fits into world class fisheries.

Tickets available at the following link

Dinner News Release 14dec2017



Graves Bridge Boat Ramp Restrictions and Future Plans

The Graves Bridge boat access site was devastated by the 2013 flood, whereby access to the river was only possible by crossing a large new gravel bar to the river’s edge. Unfortunately, the gravel bar became a vehicle recreational area. Measure needed to be taken to protect this environmentally sensitive area. 

Calgary’s River Access Strategy was mandated to improve river access within the City and became the agency to develop a plan to assure continued river access at Grave Bridge but also protect the adjacent environment. The decision was made to restrict vehicle access to the gravel bar outside of that needed to launch boats. The placement of  two lanes of concrete lock blocks across the the gravel bar from the existing boat ramp to the low flow river edge became the short-term fix. It is recognized that a more permanent solution will be needed in the future.

The following details the Calgary Parks Department development process for the project:

Graves Bridge Lock Block Placement

At the onset of this project City Water Resources prepared a technical memorandum that provided a summary of possible options and the hydraulic analysis of these options. The technical memo concluded that the lock block option would have a negligible effect on water levels in the area.

To further investigate the lock block option Calgary Parks commissioned a consultant to undertake an analysis of the effects of placing lock blocks on the gravel bar. The consultant completed a Fish Habitat Assessment Report. This assessment report covered the following:

-Investigation of biophysical characteristic of the project area.

-Assessment of potential disturbance to fish habitat.  

-Regulatory Approvals considerations (Water Act, Public Lands Act, Fisheries Act).

-Mitigation measures to be implemented during project works (placing the lock blocks on site).

The placement of lock blocks followed the recommendation of the assessment report. 

The lock block option is only a temporary solution to control vehicle movement on the gravel bar.

The City recognizes that a permanent solution to re-introduce water back up to the concrete boat ramp is still needed, however, this work is currently unfunded so there is no scheduled timeline for a permanent solution.

   Contact the City at 311 for any further inquiries.

Bow River Trout Foundation continues to engage with the City of Calgary on the Graves Bridge river access site and other River Access Strategy proposals.


The Blue Ribbon Bow Dinner

The Bow River Trout Foundation is pleased to announce the Blue Ribbon Bow Dinner, to be held on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The fundraising event will be held at the Calgary Petroleum Club, 319 –  5 Avenue SW, in the heart of downtown Calgary.

Bow River Trout fundraising activities will support river access improvements

  Bow River Trout Foundation has a mandate to Advocate and Support for the Bow River Fishery”. We have been successful as a member of Calgary River Users’ Alliance in securing a City of Calgary budget of $7.6 million to develop the River Access Strategy. Bow River Trout has made a commitment to support the city’s commitment. The Government of Alberta is developing a Bow River Access Plan that will improve fishing access downstream of Calgary.

Advocate for improvements in water management to sustain a viable Bow River Fishery

There is concern with the water management model for the Bow River Basin. The lifeline of the fishery is dependent on a constant supply of water. In recent years we have seen low flows and high temperature that had a detrimental impact on the fish. Recently Alberta Environment & Parks has released a proposal to enhance the Bow River water management model to mitigate flood and drought damage. Bow River Trout has started an engagement process with the Government of Alberta to secure protection of the fishery for future generations.

Go to the following web link for more details of the  Blue Ribbon Bow Dinner and to purchase your dinner tickets

Blue Ribbon Bow Dinner 

“All funds raised locally will be spent locally”

Harvie Passage Low Flow Channel

In July 2017 river users were give the opportunity to test the redeveloped Harvie Passage Low Flow Channel. A truly remarkable piece of engineering that will allow safe passage of pleasure craft through the previously dangerous Western Irrigation District Weir.

For the fishing community, this development in conjunction with an upgrade to West Baker Park and will allow drift boats to navigate the entire city reach of the Bow River.

Bow River Water Management Plan – Response from Minister Shannon Phillips

A response from Alberta Environment & Parks Minister Shannon Phillips has been received to our concerns for the health on the Bow River fishery expressed in the following document: The Bow River Water Management & the Impact on the Fishery

October 18, 2017

Mr . Peter Crowe-Swords, President,

Bow  River  Trout Foundation

Dear Mr. Crowe-Swords:

Thank you for your email and for forwarding a copy of your document The Impact of Water Management Policy and Proposed Mitigation Initiatives on the Bow River Basin Fishery. I appreciate the opportunity to provide the following information.

Environment and Parks fisheries management staff participated in the development of the Bow River Water Management Project report dated May 17, 2017, and provided feedback in this report relative to fish and fishing as it relates to the various options or schemes; our comments throughout reflect this. For instance, in the environmental and ecological considerations section, fish and angling comments are provided under each scheme.

In the early summer of 2017, Environment and Parks identified concerns with flows and temperatures as it related to fish populations. Flows and temperatures were monitored for flowing waters in the eastern slopes of the South Saskatchewan River Basin throughout the summer. In July of 2017, an angling advisory was issued that identified the concern and options for anglers to mitigate potential risks. The advisory remained in effect until mid-September of 2017.

If and when large-scale infrastructure projects are approved for engineering and detailed design, all appropriate stakeholders, including regional stakeholders, will be engaged as part of the process.

Thank you again for your letter. I appreciate the Bow River Trout Foundation’s ongoing efforts to protect our extraordinary natural heritage.

Shannon Phillips Minister

Bow River Trout will continue to engage with the Government of Alberta to assure the protection on the Bow River fishery.

Graves Bridge River Access Upgrades.

Calgary’s River Access Strategy  roll out will see the installation of concrete blocks across the gravel bar at the Graves Bridge river access site.  Concrete blocks will be installed to restrict trailered boat access to a corridor between the existing boat ramp and the river’s edge. The concrete blocks will be installed this week with completion by Friday October 20, 2017. 

To reduce congestion at the rivers edge river users are encouraged to prepare their boats for the float trip while in the parking lot.

BRT One Fly Tournament Wrap-Up

  Saturday September 30, 2017

Calgary had beautiful autumn weather for the previous week, but the weather forecast for a sudden change to more winter like conditions did not deter the enthusiasm for the tournament. A total of 17 boats and 45 participants registered for the tournament. Wind and rain did arrive, but by mid-afternoon some good dry fly fishing could be had. The day was finished off with a reception at the Toad ‘n’ Turtle on 130 Ave SE. The Fred Boyer Limited Edition Bronze Belt Buckle were awarded to:

Edith Snyder

One of three ladies fishing from the same boat. Edith caught all three species of sports fish, brown trout, rainbow trout and whitefish. Edith fish on nymph and  dry fly and supplied photos of the days fishing.

Cathy Kausche 

Cathy fished with her daughter Caitlin and guided by Mike Venhuis. Cathy  caught the tournaments Specimen Rainbow Trout. We decided the photo of Cathy’s fish fits that mark. With the addition of Caitlin’s fish, the photo truly highlights what Bow River fly fishing is all about, fishing with family and friends.

Peter Monod

Peter who fished with guide Dee Chatani and his son Matt, caught the Specimen Brown Trout that is showing its full spawning colours.

With the addition of Matt in the second photo, the photo truly highlights what we see more and more, a younger angler enjoying fishing with an individual with years of experience in the sport. A true gem of a photo.


In total we raised $4,750 that will go towards our initiatives to improve river access to the Bow River. The funds will be used to support the Calgary River Access Strategy boat ramp at Ogden Bridge that will be developed in 2018.

17021712_221694551631020_5595802841715024384_nThe One Fly Tournament was supported by Angling Outfitters and Guide Association of Alberta and donations of gift items from Iron Bow Fly Shop. A full list of our supports will be available on the Bow River Trout website.

We would like to thank everyone who came out to support the BRT One Fly Tournament