Bow River Water Management Policy – Letter to AEP Minister Shannon Phillips

The Bow River fishery continues to be under pressure from  environmental changes, an increased Calgary and regional population and most recently Alberta Environment & Parks proposed changes to flood and drought management practices.

The following letter was sent to Alberta Environment & Parks Minister, Shannon Phillips on September 13, 2017 detailing the importance of the Bow River fishery and a need for the Government of Alberta to recognize that changes in water management practices will impact a very valuable recreational resource.

Bow River Trout Foundation is awaiting a response.


The Honorable, Shannon Phillips

Minister of Environment and Parks,

208 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T5K 2B6

Dear Minister Phillips:

Attached please find a document entitled, The Impact of Water Management Policy and Proposed Mitigations Initiatives on the Bow River Basin Fishery” that the Bow River Trout Foundation would like you to consider before any further action is taken on the Bow River’s flood and drought management practices.

The Bow River Trout Foundation as been formed as a voice for the protection and preservation of the Bow River sports fishery by a group of local anglers with a wealth of fishing experience dating back to the early eighties when the fishery received its “Blue Ribbon” designations as a world class trout fishery. Our mandate, to “Advocate and Support for the Bow River Fishery” that encompass a number of core objectives that covers fishery management and conservation to protect the sports fishery for future generations.

The recent proposals to change the Bow River basin water operations model needs to take into consideration the impact on recreational fishing that has been identified by the Government of Alberta as a significant contributor to the local economy. The data presented in the attached document supports this assertion.

We welcome an opportunity to discuss our concerns further

Yours sincerely:

Peter Crowe-Swords, President

Bow River Trout Foundation



One Fly Tournament Update

 Update, September 19, 2017

Ten days to go to the tournament with still a few guided trips available. Details can be found on the BRT website: BRT One Fly Tournament


Registration will continue to be open ONLINE until the morning of the event on Saturday September 30, 2017 for those who wish to bring their own boats. But for a guided trip and guarantee a supplied lunch pack, registration needs to be completed by September 27, 2017.


Guided Trip $600

Self-Guided Trip $300


All entrants and guides are to meet at Fish Tales Fly Shop parking lot at 7:30 am on September 30, 2017. At this time Bow River Trout will provide the catch recording sheets and confirm registrations as well as any other required information. Participants are encouraged to be off the water by 6:00 pm with catch records presented to the organizers at our reception by 6:45 pm.

Fly Selection:

Entrants must submit their fly selections to BRT by 9:00 am September 30, 2017. Full details are available at the following link:

Reception & Pub Social:

The awards reception and social will take place after the tournament at The Toad ‘n” Turtle at 5155 – 130 Ave SE, Calgary starting a 7:00 pm. The full menu will be available for those who wish to eat at

Bow River Trout Foundation is planning to raise an estimated amount of $67,000 this year on fundraising campaigns. It will cost our organization $32,000 to raise this for a net return of $35,000. The money raised will be going to our commitment to improve two river access boat ramps on the Bow River. For further information, please contact Peter Crowe-Swords at 403-680-8320. Our address is 3608 Beaver Road N.W., Calgary, AB, T2L 1X1 and we are incorporated in Alberta.

The Bow River Water Management & the Impact on the Fishery

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:

Bow River Water Management and the Impact on the Fishery

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.




Calgary’s River Access Strategy Starts To Takes Shape.

New Signage is in place at West Baker Park, 10 Street NW, Glenmore /Graves Bridge and Sandy Beach.  The signage consists of a kiosk style of layout with a river map and safety information. Additional river user information is available on the city website at Calgary River Access

Bow River North and Bow River South Signage can be seen below.

West Baker Park and Shouldice will remain closed to the public until  the new boat ramps at Inglewood and Ogden Bridge are complete and Harvie Passage Low Flow Channel is open to the public in 2018.

A new hand launch has been installed at Douglasdale South. Portable toilets, benches & garbage bins have been installed at all designated river access points.

The engineering process to start construction on on the new boat ramp at Ogden Road / Refinery Park is underway with completion expected in 2017. Inglewood boat ramp will follow in 2019. All good news.



Bow River Water Management Report

The province has begun implementing the advice from a report that identifies ways to improve flood resilience in Calgary and better manage water throughout the Bow River basin.

Based on the report’s findings, the province is working with TransAlta and other stakeholders to begin implementing some of the short-term solutions identified. These include:

  • Discussions with TransAlta to extend and expand the current agreement on modified operations, including the addition of Spray Lake and Lake Minnewanka to the agreement and using Barrier Lake for flood mitigation purposes rather than drought mitigation.
  • Discussions with Irrigation Districts to improve water retention for agricultural use downstream of Calgary.
  • A feasibility study on increasing the drawdown rate at Ghost Reservoir.
  • Initiating feasibility studies for potential long-term projects identified in the report.

The following link details the plans:

Bow River Flood Mitigation Report

All good news for the Bow River and those who enjoy a very valuable recreation resource.

BRT One Fly Tournament

The BRT One Fly Tournament provides an opportunity to participate in a fun fishing event and help raise funds to support the Bow River fishery.

 Our primary fundraising goal for 2017 is to support the construction of two new Calgary boat launches at Ogden Bridge and Inglewood .

Participants will have 2 option:

  • A fully guided boat for the day at a cost of $600.
  • Or bringing their own boat for $300.

Every effort will be made to ensure anyone who wants to participate can.

The event is supported by local outfitters, guides and fly fishing stores.

Registration and further details are available on the Bow River Trout website at the following link: One Fly Tournament

 All Funds Raised Locally Will Be Spent Locally


For further information email:




Bow River Trout Announces Fundraising Events

cropped-fb_img_1465241029442.jpgBow River Trout Foundation is please to announce two fundraising events this year that will support our commitment to support the Bow River Fishery:

BRT One Fly 2017

Please join us for the inaugural BRT One Fly Tournament to be held on Saturday September 30, 2017. The OneFly will provide an opportunity for anglers to participate in a fun fishing event and help raise funds to support the initiatives of Bow River Trout. Our primary fundraising goal for 2017 is to generate funds for our commitment towards the construction of two new planned boat launches as part of the City of Calgary’s Bow River Access Strategy. Details at One Fly Tournament Link

BRT Dinner 2017

The Blue Ribbon Bow Dinner, a fundraising  event at the Calgary Petroleum Club on Wednesday, November 22, 2017. The dinner will be a “Celebration of the Bow River Fishery”, followed by a silent auction where the proceeds will go to support of  Bow River Trout’s fishery management initiatives. Further details of the event will be available in August 2017.