Stream Tender Magazine

September Issue 2013

This small

Brown trout was hatched in the Bighill

Creek !

“Local Trout Stream Project News and Information”

Inside This Issue:

Program Partners

Cochrane Community

Grant Program

BVHD

New Generations of Trout for the Bow River!

    Despite the Bow River flood event of 2013, the fishery holds promise for future years to come!

    The phenomenal trout hatch on the Jumpingpound Creek in the summer of 2012 became quite apparent, as the water levels in the Bow receded, after the flood this summer.

   This 2012 trout hatch has resulted in very high numbers of juvenile trout being recruited into the Bow River system this year.

    The number of juvenile brown trout in the river has also increased significantly! This means that recruitment from the Bighill Creek is increasing!!

Above: This small rainbow trout was caught on a dry fly, soon after the water levels in the Bow River, near Cochrane, started to drop, just after the flood.

“More Trout in the Bow River!”

The 2013 — Bighill Creek Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program has another Successful Year!

    The Bighill Creek Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program is part of the Bighill Creek Project, which is now in its ninth year of operations.

    Over the past nine years, the Millennium Creek Project was completed on a small tributary to the Bighill Creek. With the completion of that major enhancement program, the following study and enhancement projects have been competed:

 

·                 The Bighill Creek Fisheries Study, 2008, 2009.

·                 The 2011/2012 Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program.

·                 This year’s 2013 Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program.

 

    Over the spring and summer months this year, a total of 2,946 willow and tree plants were planted along the Bighill Creek.

    The partners in this year’s program were:

 

    Shell Canada

 

    Inter Pipeline

 

  Cochrane Community

      Grant Program

 

    The Cochrane

          Foundation

 

    ATCO Pipelines

 

    The Buy a Willow

     or Tree Program.

 

A total of 109 volunteer person hours were contributed towards the successful completion of this program.

The 2013 — Nose Creek Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program is “ Off To A Great Start “ This Year!

    With plenty of partners involved, the Nose Creek Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program got off to a great start this year! This year’s program concentrated on the section of Nose Creek that flows thru the City of Airdrie, but we look forward to expanding the program further upstream and downstream in future years.

    In total, 3,249 willow and tree plants were planted along the stream banks of Nose Creek in Airdrie, Alberta. The total volunteer person hours for this program was 160 hours.

    The plantings in their entirety, covered a distance of 1.8 kilometres of stream bank. This can be considered a significant riparian recovery and enhancement effort for this small Alberta stream.

    The partners in this year’s program were:

 

Canadian Pacific

 

Honda Canada Foundation

 

Microsoft / Evergreen

 

Walmart / Evergreen

 

Bow Valley Habitat

Development

 

The City of Airdrie

 

Stantec

 

This is a second year poplar plant on Bighill Creek, in the Town of Cochrane

Canmore Creek Log-Wall and Plants, 15 Years After Completion

Above: This 2013 photo shows the log wall and willow/tree plants on Canmore Creek, 15 years after it was constructed. The willow and poplar trees are getting very tall now, and the lower limbs help to hide the logs used in the log wall construction. The substrate in the creek channel below the log wall is now clean and free from mine tailings. The creek looks really good this year!

    In the late 1990’s, and as part of the Canmore Creek Fish Habitat Enhancement Program, a major bank stabilization project was completed on the lower reach of Canmore Creek. The objective of the project was to help stabilize a slope that was loading mine tailing into the stream channel.

    The steep slope above the creek consisted of tailings from the Canmore Mines #1 and #2 mine shafts, located just upstream of the stabilization site. The historic mine site was never reclaimed after it ceased operating in the early 1900;s.

    It was determined that the best way to deal with the site was to create a bench at the base of the slope, to prevent toe erosion and any further slippage of tailings.

    To do this, a rather long log wall would be constructed at the base of the slope. Then a riparian crop of native plants would be established on the bench. Over time, the riparian growth would cover the log wall and a stable root mass could creep up the slope and re-vegetate the area.

    The long term benefits would become apparent in the streambed substrate, which would clean itself of mine tailings below the log wall and downstream of the site, over time. The overhead cover created by the re-vegetated bench, would provide fish habitat for the resident trout in the stream.

    I have really enjoyed watching the slow transformation of this project site, over the years!

Herbicide Spraying Destroys Riparian Habitat!

Above: Thistle spraying killed this willow plant along the water’s edge, of a local trout stream. This photo was taken just days after the spraying program. Willows such as these are considered vital fish habitat, along our flowing streams, so why are we spraying them with herbicide?

    Many willow and tree plants will not reach maturity with this type of aggressive herbicide weed control spraying activity. Should there be a wider spray free zone along our flowing streams?

Above: Small spring fed creeks are flowing with high volumes of water these days, which will benefit the fishery on all of our streams! The photo above was taken on August 26th this summer, and it shows how high the water is in Millennium Creek.

“More Water in the Creeks —- Means More Fish!”

    Bow Valley Habitat Development and Stream Tender Magazine is please to announce a new partner into the Nose Creek planting program for 2013.

    DIAGEO / Evergreen will be completing a fall planting on Nose Creek this year!

Lots of Juvenile Brook Trout in Millennium Creek Pool Habitats This Year!

Above: Check out the video link above to see how abundant the juvenile brook trout are in Millennium Creek this year. These small trout are from this year’s hatch and emergence on the spawning channel, which was constructed in 2010. The small trout will spend the first part of their lives in the creek, until they are large enough to migrate downstream into the big water!

Check out this video link