Alberta Environment and Parks is launching public engagement on the first phase of the Draft Bow River Access Plan. Over the last 30 years, the Bow River has grown in reputation to become a world famous fly-fishing destination and popular area for rafting and canoeing. Considering the interest and potential, there is a desire to improve access to the river and foster tourism opportunities while ensuring the sustainability of the fishery. The purpose of the draft plan is to identify key river access points for public use, reduce site impacts, improve recreation, tourism and educational opportunities, and reduce user conflict.
As the planning process enters the engagement phase, stakeholders, river users, and the public are invited to participate in a short survey to share your thoughts on the Draft Bow River Access Plan. More information on the draft plan and access to the survey can be found at Talk AEP. Feedback on this first phase will be collected from July 4 to July 31, 2017.
Please feel free to give this email the widest distribution possible as we hope to solicit feedback from a wide variety of users.
Rob Wolfe, Alberta Environment & Parks
If we had boat launches that were properly thought out and engineered correctly then we would not have the mess that is Policeman’s Flats today.
Boat access to the Bow River has consistently been an afterthought, but with Bow River Trout Foundation’s work on Calgary’s River Access Strategy, new and upgraded boat ramps will be seen in the City. But the Province must do its part and take immediate action and make improvements to existing river access such as Policeman’s Flats to secure river access until alternative sites are developed.
If you would like to help us in ensuring healthy river access for future generations, consider joining the Bow River Tout Foundation.
City of Calgary River Flow Advisory
Date, June 01 2017
The Calgary Fire Department, Calgary Police Service and Calgary Community Standards are advising Calgarians against boating and all other watercraft activities on the Bow River.
“The current flow rate on the Bow River is 293 m3/s — which is higher than we’ve seen in the last two years,” says Carol Henke, Public Information Officer, Calgary Fire Department. “Runoff from melting snow in the mountains is causing very cold water temperatures, increased floating debris and high turbidity in the Bow River, which makes for very poor visibility and dangerous conditions.”
Members of Calgary Fire and Calgary Police marine units will be monitoring the river while the advisory is in place. However, The City advises everyone to stay off the Bow River until conditions improve.
“For the safety of river users and emergency responders, we are asking everyone to wait until flows return to normal,” Henke says.
It is also important for people near the river to be aware of high flow levels. “Calgarians are urged to exercise caution around river banks as the fast-moving water can cause erosion and river banks can collapse,” Henke adds.
Harvie Passage remains closed to recreational boat traffic until 2018. The province of Alberta continues to restore the passage and during this time this section of the river poses extreme risk.
As always, Calgarians are reminded to use caution and be prepared for anything on the water. All watercraft users should wear life-jackets to avoid a mandatory court appearance and fines. In addition to wearing life jackets, river users should avoid consuming alcohol and other intoxicants on Calgary’s waterways.
The City of Calgary encourages all water users to familiarize themselves with safety practice bylaws and safety alerts on calgary.ca/watersafety and monitor flow levels at rivers.alberta.ca
As the Bow River as a recreational venue becomes more popular, there is a need to be considerate of other river users. Boat ramps can become congested with not only drift boats, but canoes, kayaks and all the gear that goes with a day on the river.
Recently the Angling Outfitters & Guides Association of Alberta (AOGAA) prepared a brochure entitled Etiquette & Fish Handling Tips that gives suggestion as to how to avoid problems and conflicts at boat launch sites.
This is an excellent review from river guides who use the river on a daily basis.
As the Calgary River Access Strategy rolls out, each of the boat ramps and hand launch sites will have information boards, similar to what has been installed at the Glenmore Reservoir boat ramps detailing river use information and guidelines. Boat ramp etiquette and safety will be a part of the information.
The Future of the Bow River Fishery:
The Bow River fishery is recognized around the world for the quality of Brown and Rainbow Trout. The Bow River needs support from the angling community to assure a sustainable fishery not only for ourselves, but future generations.
We are excited to launch a new organization for the fishing community that is totally committed to the Bow River fishery. Bow River Trout Foundation was formed by a group of like-minded local fishermen who volunteered to give back to the world renowned Bow River for years of angling pleasure.
Bow River Trout Foundation is registered as a Not-for-Profit Alberta Society with a mandate to “Advocate and Support for the Bow River Fishery”. Our founding directors have developed 8 objectives that will serve to protect the interests of Bow River anglers and to sustain a viable fishery. Our primary focus is to support responsible use and enhancement of the fishery while assuring public access and protection of riparian habitat that benefits the Bow River ecosystem.
There is also a need to engage the public and cooperate with all levels of government and organization or stakeholders with similar interests as our own. In other word;
Bow River Trout will advocate for the interest of the fishing community.
Bow River Trout (BRT) has been an active participant in the stakeholder consultation with the Calgary River Access Strategy. Two new boat ramps will be commissioned within Calgary over the next two years.Ogden Bridge, downstream of Harvie Passage will be developed in 2017 followed by Inglewood in 2018. The City of Calgary has committed $7.6 million to new and enhanced river access over the next 5 years. BRT as a member of the Calgary River Users Alliance has been asked by the City of Calgary to financially support river access developments. BRT will contribute through our fundraising activities. Alberta Environment & Parks has started stakeholder consultation to improve river access outside of the City of Calgary. The Bow River Access Plan will be made public later in the spring.
More details can be found in BRT Newsletter Spring 2017
Your Opportunity To Support Our Initiatives:
Bow River Trout Foundation membership is available on our website https://bowrivertrout.org/membership-donations/
Membership will give you a voice in advocacy for the Bow River fishery, support new and improved river access within the Bow River basin and keep you updated on progress with initiatives through a quarterly newsletter.
President, Bow River Trout Foundation.
As part of an agreement between TransAlta and Alberta Environment & Parks, Ghost Reservoir is drawn down to a minimal operating level in May of each year to develop a buffer to protect from increase Bow River flows during spring run off.
The forecast is for flows to increase in Calgary from 76 CMS today to 120 CMS tomorrow and into the weekend. Details of the TransAlta agreement can be found on the BRT website by following the link Bow River Flow Forecast
The BRT Newsletter Spring 2017 covers a wide variety of topics that lay the foundation for our vision for the future of the Bow River Fishery.
- We have registered BRT as an Alberta Society by the name of Bow River Trout Foundation with a clear mandate to ” Protect and Support the Bow River Fishery”.
- Our stakeholder consultation with Calgary’s River Access Strategy and Alberta Environment & Parks, Bow River Access Plan will see two new Calgary boat ramps within two years and upgrades to river access further downstream.
- Please give some consideration to joining Bow River Trout. For $25 your membership will allow you to work closely with like-minded individuals to advocate and give back to one of North America’s greatest fisheries.