Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Province investigates allegations of environmental damage to Alberta’s Oldman River

A backhoe works in the Oldman River near Cowley, AB. Taken on Sept. 21.
Chris Davis / Pincher Creek Voice

Work in Oldman River prompts water concerns

by Erika Stark, Calgary Herald, October 2, 2015

Alberta Environment is investigating the extent of damage to the Oldman River after residents complained a local landowner was doing unapproved work in the river.

The landowner had approval under the Water Act to clean out a small withdrawal channel for irrigation upstream of the dam, but on Sept. 21, the department received a complaint about the work.

“We conducted a site inspection that day and determined that work had been conducted outside the scope of the approval,” said Envrionment spokesman Jamie Hanlon. “We ordered that all work cease at that moment.”

According to one resident, the landowner “tore up the entire river,” building a dike and changing the water’s path.

“The impact in the area where it is cannot be fixed,” said Dr. Alan Garbutt, who lives downstream. “The impact, down the stream, if there were spawning fish down there, can’t be fixed.

Read balance of Calgary Herald story here:…/work-in-oldman-river-prompts-wat…

Read Global News story at this link:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's a beautiful day for a mental health checkup

Comedian Robin Williams suffered from depression and eventually committed suicide. TIZIANA FABI / AFP/Getty Images
1 in 5 fly fishers...

It's a beautiful day for a mental health checkup

by Karin Klassen, Calgary Herald, Oct 05, 2015

Today, on this most beautiful Alberta fall day, someone will go home to find the person they most love in this world, dead of something self-inflicted.

This devastating scene will play out close to 500 times this year in this province alone, maybe more with the bad economy. That’s the highest suicide rate in the country.

Anyone can join this club, and they do — across genders, cultures and ages — but the victim will probably be male, because they’re almost four times as likely to call it a day on their life, and with probably just 40 to 60 years spent on this Earth. Teenagers are also tragically welcome; it’s the most likely way they’ll leave their families behind to keep their rooms just as they were left, the day they “left.” In obituary terms, this is known as “died suddenly.”

As it turns out, people who feel desperate, do desperate things.

Today is National Depression Screening Day, and the Calgary Counselling Centre has provided an online link for you to take a free, anonymous screening test for this mental health issue that more than half a million people are treated for in Alberta every year.

Read more here:

‪#‎NationalDepressionScreeningDay‬ | ‪#‎yyc‬ | Canadian Mental Health Association - Calgary Region

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

We Just Don't Get It!

The following was posted by Country Pleasures Fly Fishing. Given the subject, we took the liberty of including a photo from Keepemwet along with the the CP logo. We hope that neither will mind. :-) 

We Just Don't Get It!

This has been getting under my skin since early in July this summer..... with water levels running at about half of normal for most of the late spring and summer, and the resultant high water temperatures, why do we continue to see excessive handling of fish on the Bow River before they are released?

Since the temporary closure, water temperatures have been continuing to drop below critical and have been as low as 12 Celsius recently. But before the closure, when temps were approaching, and exceeding 20 Celsius there are guides/outfitters and recreational anglers posting all sorts of photos with fish held out of the water. What the heck are we doing? Do we want a healthy fishery in the future? Is it really that important to have that type of photo of a fish we have caught?

Given the tribulations that the Trout inhabiting the Bow River have endured of late, even with cooler water, shouldn't we be as careful as possible to quickly play, keep in the water, and then release these fish as quickly as we can?

I pretty much reached the tipping point on this on Tuesday of this week. While floating the Policeman's to Mac section we were overtaken by a guide/outfitter/shop owner who I thought was a proponent of proper fish handling and conservation practices. You would certainly think so by the sentiment expressed by this individual on multiple avenues of social media.

On two separate occasions, before moving on ahead and out of sight, I saw this individual land fish, pull over to the bank, and proceed to photograph the fish in different poses and angles for several minutes.
The second of these instances resulted in the fish being photographed for 14 minutes after it had been landed until it was released.

What the hell are we doing? As a group involved in this sport have we become so obsessed with our 15 minutes of social media fame that the fish that give us this enjoyment have to suffer the consequences?
As shop owners, shop employees, and guides, should we not take the initiative and knock this off?

Don't get me wrong, photographing the beauty of a fish is no different than photographing beautiful scenery, it's great to be able to go back and appreciate something special. But can't we do it quickly?, and photograph these fish while they remain in the water?

‪#‎KeepEmWet‬ | ‪#‎BowRiver‬ | ‪#‎flyfishing‬ | ‪#‎yyc‬

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Alberta Conservation Groups Launch Court Action Against Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Westslope Cutthroat Trout hold position in spawning habitat, 8 July 2012. These fish are part of a pure population introduced into Rawson Lake, Kananaskis Country. (Photo credit D. Mayhood)

Alberta Conservation Groups Launch Court Action Against Fisheries and Oceans Canada

News release, Sept 22, 2015

The Alberta Wilderness Association and Timberwolf Wilderness Society are taking the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada to Federal Court over her failure to issue a critical habitat order for Alberta’s threatened population of westslope cutthroat trout. The order is required by law under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

“The Minister’s critical habitat order, or an equivalent protection statement, has not been issued within the statutory time limit, and is now almost one year overdue,” says Brittany Verbeek, AWA Conservation Specialist.

The Environmental Law Clinic, operating in the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law, filed the application with the Federal Court of Canada on Friday, 18 September 2015.

Read more here:

H/T to Oldman River Chapter- Trout Unlimited Canada

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Commercial development causing a 'crisis' in national parks, says CPAWS

Commercial development causing a 'crisis' in national parks, says CPAWS

by Colette Derworiz, Calgary Herald, September 10, 2015

A new report (…/cpaws-special-report-on-commercial-devel…) suggests there’s a crisis in Canada’s national parks, calling on Canadians to stand up against commercial developments such as an expansion plan at Lake Louise ski area in Banff and the proposed Maligne Lake resort in Jasper.

The report by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society suggests national parks are under a growing threat.

“Canada’s national parks are part of the heart and soul of this country,” said Alison Woodley, national director of the CPAWS parks program. “They are our natural treasures and they belong to each and every one of us as Canadians, but private commercial development is putting our most special protected areas at risk.

“There’s a crisis in our national parks.”

Read more here:…/commercial-development-causing-c…

‪#‎bowriver‬ | ‪#‎flyfishing‬ | ‪#‎yyc‬ | CPAWS Southern Alberta | CPAWS

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Morning paddle on the Bow River. See you at the #GlobeDebate #yyc

Morning paddle on the Bow River. See you at the Globe debate tonight!
Posted by Justin Trudeau on Thursday, September 17, 2015

 Nice to see Justin Trudeau out on our "home waters"! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) - Quarterly Educational Forum - Sept 09, 2015

click on poster for larger image

Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) - Quarterly Educational Forum - Sept 09, 2015 

Last week, the BRBC held another very interesting education forum. 

Speakers on the agenda included Kevin Van Tigham, John Pemeroy and Judy Stewart. 

Following Kevin Van Tigham's retirement as superintendent of Banff National Park, the conservationist, fly fisherman, and author wrote the book he had been waiting his entire life to write — Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow River.

Tickets are now available for his official book launch on November 19, 2015.

Professor John Pomeroy; Canada Research Chair in Water Resources & Climate Change, Director, Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan.

Professor Pomeroy's name is often in the news these days, especially it seems, since our 2013 flood. . For example, he's quoted in this recent Calgary Herald article "Water expert astonished by proposed location of CalgaryNEXT along Bow River"

Judy Stewart, Cochrane Environmental Action Committee. Judy is a passionate speaker on water issues, with a particular love for wetlands. Amongst other things, she notes that wetlands continue to dissapear at an alarming rate. For example, 90% of wetlands in Calgary have been destroyed.