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Expanded Brown Trout

Redd Count 2018 Project

Friday November 9th is the date for our Lower Elbow Brown Trout Redd Count, and Sunday November 18th is the date set for our Upper Elbow Brown Trout Redd Count. This project was funded in part through a Watershed Stewardship Grant, a program of the Land Stewardship Centre,  as well as funding from City of Calgary Water Resources. We appreciate the support provided by these partners which allows this important citizen science project to proceed.

Calgary River Valleys has been working with other groups to count Brown Trout redds or spawning nests in the lower Elbow River since 1994, and has been the main sponsor of this important project since 2009. We want to ensure this citizen science continues as an annual count in order to ensure the data collected is as accurate as it can be, that trends over time can be observed, and the location of redds can be used to ensure land use decisions don’t negatively impact Calgary’s blue-ribbon trout fishery. In 2018 we will be expanding this project to incorporate for the first time data collection on Brown Trout redds in the Upper Elbow on the western edge of Calgary to establish a baseline in that reach.

Keep an eye out for our volunteers who will be mostly walking, but sometimes floating in rafts, on the Elbow River below the dam on November 9th, and above the Weaselhead on November 18th. Below are some pictures from our 2017 count.

To view a short (3:15) video clip from our YouTube channel of our volunteer Biologist, Chris Bjornson, of Golder Associates, explaining how Brown Trout spawn each fall, what the citizen scientists doing the count should be looking for, and why this annual redd count is important, click here.

Pic of a redd

Spread out hunting for redds

Rafting to next suitable spawning location

Hunting for redds


Riverbank Makeover Project 2018

You’ve heard of Home Makeover shows, well in a similar fashion, this year Calgary River Valleys is doing a “Riverbank Makeover” project with a homeowner who backs onto the Elbow River, with funding support from the City of Calgary. This project is in alignment with the City’s recently adopted program, the Riparian Action Program, which is designed to improve and maintain the health of river-adjacent areas as well as the quality and quantity of water flowing through Calgary’s rivers and creeks.

Many people are unfamiliar with the term “riparian”. Its Latin root “ripa” means bank or shore, so riparian refers to the transition zone between the river and the surrounding lands or uplands. This is land where the vegetation and soils are strongly influenced by water. As a result, different types of plants can grow in the riparian zone as compared to the surrounding lands or uplands.

The project this year has 3 main components:

  • Research about people’s knowledge of riparian issues,
  • Field work to modify an Elbow River adjacent homeowner’s riparian zone with new vegetation and monitor its success over time, and
  • Educate the public about the value and function of riparian zones in our ecosystem.

We completed our volunteer planting day on October 6th, and we will be holding a “garden tour” style event on October 20th from 1 pm to 3:30 pm, to see what was planted, where, and why. Contact us at CalgaryRiverValleys@outlook.com if you are interested in attending the “garden tour” style event. See below for some pictures of the transformation of the riverbank. Hover over each picture to see a short description of what is in the photo.


CRV on Twitter

The ten latest CRV Tweets on Twitter.

Thanks @dmayhood for your ongoing commitment to enviro stewardship in AB! We @clgrivervalleys support your efforts. #SpeciesAtRisk #CutthroatTrout #trout twitter.com/dmayhood/statu…

Glad to hear that engaged citizens are working hard to ensure endangered Cutthroat Trout are protected & to get the Fed Gov't to implement &... cbc.ca/news/canada/ca…

Thanks for the important work you do @TUCanada1 ! We at @clgrivervalleys are glad to do our part each year by sponsoring & conducting an annual citizen #science count of Brown #Trout redds (spawning nests) in the #yyc Elbow River #water #waterquality twitter.com/TUCanada1/stat…

Looking good @ConfedCreek ! Glad that Nose Hill was made into a park rather than remaining as a gravel pit...or worse. #farsighted #UrbanPlanning twitter.com/ConfedCreek/st…

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