BRC has operated with little planning for the future. Funds have been raised in cooperation with the national organization. Volunteers have been used for national habitat projects. And recently, very little initiative has been shown to advance local activities. The frustration on the part of the membership and equally TUC administration is evident. With a local membership in excess of 500 there is no reason that support for the Bow River Basin cannot be found. It is BRC responsibility to correct this and move forward and upward.
2.1: Expand and Define our Focus:
- BRC would be better positioned to have our territory increased to encompass the Bow River Basin. Discussions have started further this position. This would find support from other organizations where BRC becomes the leading voice for advocacy of the Bow River Basin fishery.
- Trout Unlimited Canada – Bow River Chapter under our registration as an Alberta Society will establish a separate brand of, “Bow River Trout” to fundraise, promote and support BRC activities specific to the Bow River fishery.
- The Legacy Island lease agreement will be revisited by the BRC Board of Directors to establish what options exist for the transfer or maintenance of the lease agreement. A position statement will be taken to the membership for discussion and approval
2.2: Develop a Well-Researched Fishery Initiative:
- The Project Committee will gather a greater understanding of what priorities are needed to protect and enhance the Bow River Basin habitat and fishery. Although habitat will be the major focus of the committee, it will not be the only directive. A comprehensive assessment of what enhancement or intervention policies are needed for the improvement to the Bow River ecosystem and the fishery.
As part of the BRC Strategic Plan, communication with all sectors of the local community and membership is needed. Our mandate to educate, engage and support the BRC membership is a priority. The following initiatives have been approved:
- Social media engagement – Facebook Page – April 2015
- Membership mail outs – the first of a series of newsletters was circulated in May 2015
- New Website – release in September 2015
- Membership Questionnaire – Planned for September 2015
- Fall Splash Fundraiser – November 2015
- Western Canadian Fishing Expo, Calgary – January 2016
- AGM with presentation of BRC Vision for the Future – Mar/Apr 2016
- Tackle Swap – April 2016
BRC will take an active role to advance important habitat and fishery values either jointly with TUC or with other like-minded organizations:
- Increased focus on trout spawning activities in the Bow River Basin
- Brown trout fall spawning activity has been recorded in the Elbow River for a number of years. In 2015 this program will be expanded to the Bow River including Mallard Point.
- The majority of the Bow River’s rainbow trout spawn in the Highwood and Sheep River drainage during the spring runoff when the high water makes it difficult to assess spawning success. BRC will explore what methodology can be used to document spawning success under these conditions.
- Bow River trout population monitoring
- The last Bow River trout population study was published in 2005. Further trout population monitoring was conducted in 2007 but to date has not been published. Alberta Environment & Parks have been approached to release more recent survey data to the public. BRC will advocate for Bow River trout population surveys to be conducted at least every two years.
- Bow River watershed liaison with government agencies and NGO’s
- BRC will support Bow River Basin Council mandate and activities within the Bow River watershed
- It is anticipated that BRC will engage with local stewardship groups in support of their programs
- Increase and maintain boat access to the Bow River.
- Negotiate with the City of Calgary, Parks Department and Alberta Transportation to secure boat access within the city at Baker Park, Quarry Park and through the redevelopment of Harvie Passage
- Engagement with Alberta Environment & Parks for a comprehensive maintenance plan for boat access points downstream of Calgary
- Engage in Bow River water quantity and quality monitoring.
- Changes in City of Calgary water treatment processes in recent years has shown a substantial improvement to the Bow River water quality. With a continued regional population growth it is essential that the current water quality be maintained.
- Annual precipitation fluctuations and seasonal variation in river flow and water temperatures has an impact on the Bow River fishery. In addition, the need for flood mitigation policies has added pressure to an already vulnerable fish population. BRC will work with other interest groups to act as a voice or reason to protect the fishery.
2.5: Review and Transparency of Operations:
An annual report of BRC activities will be presented to the AGM.
- Transparency of policy and procedure must be maintained to secure confidence from the membership.
- Review of BRC operations will take place annually proceeding the AGM with proposals for change presented for membership approval.