Mallard Point is located at the north end of Calgary’s Fish Creek Provincial Park. A side forms the southern border with Poplar Island. In 1995 Trout TUC initiated a project to allow flow into the side channel by removing depositional materials that had accumulated in the mouth over time.
The June 2013 flood resulted in significant flows through the side channel, essentially re-activated, the side channel now captures sufficient flows for fish habitat. However, the flooding eroded banks particularly in the reach just downstream of the inlet creating side-channel structural instability that will continue to reduce spawning habitat despite the improved flow conditions. Flooding also deposited cobble and small boulders that are too large for brown trout spawning. The Mallard Point Side Channel Enhancement Project will reduce the extent of further disturbances to existing habitat along the side channel while improving bank stability. The bank stabilization component of the project was completed in 2015
TUC has received significant funds from Enbridge and DFO’s Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program (RFCPP). Other funders include the Alberta Conservation Association, Calgary Foundation, Shell Canada the 2013 National Fly Fishing Championships, and Bow River Chapter Trout Unlimited Canada.
Because the project takes place within Fish Creek Provincial Park, Alberta Parks is also a significant partner in the project, providing in-kind support. In kind support is also being provided by TUC volunteers and the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society and British Petroleum Retirees.
The initial goals of the Mallard Point Project was to first restore flow into the side channel with the intent of enhancing trout spawning areas – in large part, the June 2013 flood has restored sustainable and year-round flows into the channel. However, the flood resulted in significant erosion within the side channel, downstream from the inlet which will continue to affect reproduction areas unless resolved. This erosion and instability needs to be address to ensure overall channel stability is restored and natural geomorphic processes are promoted. This will reduce further degradation of the side channel while also providing enhanced riparian habitat, as well as large woody debris which is known to be important for spawning brown trout.
Mallard Point on Let’s Go Outdoors