Bow River Chapter –The Future
The summer of 2015 has been a busy one for the BRC Board. There has been a need to define our operating procedures, review the direction that will be taken on habitat and fishery projects and an advocacy role for BRC in the Bow River Basin. The drought condition, low river flows and fishery closures in Alberta reinforced the need for a voice to protect the fisheries. The following are details of BRC initiatives undertaken this year:
Bow River Chapter Strategic Plan: BRC was founded in 1985 with a mandate to support TUC mission and goals and to protect the Bow River fishery. Over the years BRC took on a variety of rolls in support of the chapter’s mandate. The decision was made to review the historical operations of the chapter and to present a strategic plan for the future. The BRC Strategic Plan is posted on our new website under “News and Reports”. The Board would welcome your comments before the document is taken to the membership for approval.
Communications: A Facebook page “Trout Unlimited Canada – Bow River Chapter” has been operational since April. The chapter’s Website has been redesigned to facilitate communication with our membership. Please take a look and give us some feedback. www.bowriver.org.
Project Committee: Chaired by Caitlin Gifford. A review of BRC habitat projects is close to being completed. The committee has members from various background that have volunteered to assist with the work load. Details and updates on projects will be found on the Website.
Fundraising Committee: Chaired by Mike Robertson: We are pleased to report that the Fall Splash is fully supported by BRC. This year’s event will be on November 26, 2015. Details will be posted on the website. BRC is also considering additional fundraisers, details to follow.
The chapter has been working with a number of organization to enhance the Bow River Fishery:
Bow River Access within the City of Calgary: Discussions with City of Calgary Parks Department have been encouraging.
Harvie Passage: Redevelopment plans of the low flow passage have taken into account the need for drift boats access.
Bow River Flow Rates: With cooperation of the Angling Outfitters Association of Alberta, meetings have been held with TransAlta with the objective to stabilize flows downstream of Bearspaw Dam. We now have a better understanding of the Bow River dam operations and foresee more flow stabilization in the future.
Fishery Closure: TUC sent a letter to the Minister, Alberta Environment & Parks expressing our concerns for the fishery from low river flows and high temperatures during the spring of this year. Our concern may well have supported the decision to close Southern Alberta river fisheries during August.
On a closing note we have two new directors joining the BRC Board this month, Will Ratliffe and Sarah Aftergood. Their knowledge of environmental and habitat issues will add strength to chapters operations.
Peter Crowe-Swords, President, Bow River Chapter