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.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Trout Steam At Risk

Damage caused by off-highway vehicles in Fall Creek, an important bull trout fish spawning creek. Bull trout need clear and cold water to successfully reproduce. WAYNE CROCKER/ Alberta Environment and Parks

Trout Steam At Risk

by Mary-Ann Barr, Red Deer Advocate, August 22, 2015

— "You don't know what you've got till it's gone, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot." - Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

Fall Creek, an important spawning water for the beleaguered bull trout — a protected native fish and Alberta’s provincial fish — is being damaged by people illegally driving their off-highway vehicles into it.
As well, the surrounding area is suffering from increased OHV traffic, enabled when logging in the area southwest of Rocky Mountain House started a few years ago.

Why should anyone care about the bull trout? After all, it’s just a fish and there are other kinds of fish. And there’s lots of wilderness for all users.

Actually, it’s about caring for native species that are part of our living heritage in this beautiful province, and it’s about the big picture — protect and respect the environment, or lose it.

Read more here:

From CBC Calgary today:

"The bull trout is not only Alberta's provincial fish, it's classified as sensitive and threatened under legislation. Now an important spawning stream for the trout is being damaged by people driving off-highway vehicles.

We spoke with Wayne Crocker, the backcountry co-ordinator for Alberta Environment and Parks, on alberta@noon today."

(Photo of Fall Creek in Central Alberta: Wayne Crocker)

Bow River Shuttles writes: The radio interview mentioned above will not be available on 'Past Episodes' for a few days. In the meantime, the article above is on the same subject, including comments from Wayne Crocker.

H/T to @Jordan Udo Pinkster (see blog 'Fishing Alberta with Pike Pinkster') who wrote: "I'm very pleased that the plight of Alberta's native trout species is finally getting some of the air time that it deserves. Scenes like this are all too common in our back country. It's time that we do something to address those that would seek to destroy some of Alberta's most sensitive habitats."

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What Will Your Candidate Do to Support Mental Health?

What Will Your Candidate Do to Support Mental Health?

by Marvin Ross,, Aug 18, 2015

""When the health system fails to treat mental illness, the justice system punishes the symptoms". Canadians should be pressing the parties to take a leadership position on the healthcare file and one aspect of that file that needs the most attention is mental illness." - Mood Disorders Society of Canada

Read more here:

#‎mentalillness‬ | ‪#‎Canada‬ | ‪#‎health‬ | ‪#‎elxn2015‬ | ‪#‎canpoli‬

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Alberta government bans logging, mining, and oil and gas expansion in Castle area

Haig Pass, coming out of the Flathead and looking into the upper West Castle — the heart of the area protected by the province Friday. For the Calgary Herald

Alberta government bans logging, mining, and oil and gas expansion in Castle area

 by Colette Derworiz, Calgary Herald, Sept 04, 2015

CROWSNEST PASS — The province is protecting the entire Castle area in southern Alberta as two parks, banning forestry and mining and and turning its focus to recreation and tourism in the area.

Read more here:…/alberta-moves-to-protect-vast-ca…

Image, courtesy Calgary Herald

Trout Unlimited Canada writes: 

"Today, Alberta Environment and Parks’ Minister Shannon Phillips announced the protection of the Castle Special Management Area in southwestern Alberta. This unique and special part of the province will be protected by expanding an existing Wildland Provincial Park and creating a new Provincial Park. The Castle is a special place for many Albertans. It provides important fish and wildlife habitat and forms a big part of the headwaters of the Oldman River Basin. The additional 1,040 square kilometers of Provincial Park is a great step towards the protection of our water resources. The park designation means there will be no more commercial logging within the area. There will also be a prohibition on surface rights access for new oil and gas leases. The park designation also allows the provincial government to create new campgrounds within the area. The province is looking to reduce the industrial impacts on this landscape and develop recreational and tourism opportunities.

Please visit the Newsroom on our site for additional links including how you can provide feedback."

CPAWS Southern Alberta | Crowsnest Café & Fly Shop | Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative | Alberta Wilderness Association| Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition |