We are the voice of our rivers.

[rev_slider mainslider]

2020 Elbow River Brown Trout Redd Count

This project was supported by funding from City of Calgary Water Services. Calgary River Valleys greatly appreciates the support provided by the City of Calgary for this project which allows this important citizen science monitoring of the health of the Elbow River to proceed.

Calgary River Valleys has been working with other groups to count redds, which are trout spawning nests, of Brown Trout in the lower Elbow River since 1994, and we have been the main organizer of this important project since 2009. Why do we keep doing it every year? We believe it is important to ensure this project 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.

Brown Trout are fall spawning trout, unlike Rainbow Trout that spawn in the spring. These counts are conducted in November after spawning by the Brown Trout has occurred, a behavior that is believed to be triggered by changes in the duration of daylight hours, and perhaps to a lesser degree, by a drop in the river water temperature. The Lower Elbow Brown Trout Redd Count is conducted on the 12 km section of the river between the Glenmore Dam and Fort Calgary, where the Elbow River joins the Bow. The 2020 count was completed on November 6 Covid-19 safety protocols being observed. In a normal year, we would have up to 16 Citizen Scientists supervised by our volunteer Biologist, Chris Bjornson, from Golder Associates. This year, we reduced our complement of counters to a bare minimum of 8, including our Biologist, so we could ensure physical distancing. The final count this year was 275 redds, which is one more than in 2019, and continues the upward trend in the numbers of redds hopefully returning to the pre-2013 flood levels.

In 2020, we were hoping to observe redds in the areas of the Elbow River that had new spawning sized gravel put in place in 2019 as part of an effort by the City of Calgary & the Government of Alberta to restore fish habitat that was lost in the 2013 flood. We are happy to let you know that the counters reported they saw 12 redds in these newly restored spawning areas this year. We plan to continue to track the trends of the distribution of Brown Trout redds again in 2021, and hopefully we’ll be able to return to include more volunteers for this important project.

Educational Outreach

Join us on Saturday July 18, at Fish Creek Park, as we participate in “Creekfest Reimagined”. Due to Covid-19, the regular Creekfest event, put on by the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park, has been revised to ensure compliance with public health requirements. As a result, they have arranged to have groups like ours that normally have a booth at the Bow Valley Ranche site, to be set up this year at different locations around the park. Calgary River Valleys staff & volunteers will have a booth at the Hull’s Woods area. We’ll be there between noon and 4 pm. So, come on down to learn more about riparian areas, and moving creeks.

We have prepared a Covid-19 friendly activity: a short self-guided walk with educational signage, and we’ll be able to answer any questions you have about our organization or about the educational signage. Afterward, or if  you can’t make it down to Fish Creek at all, help us with our research project by completing our short online survey. Here’s the secure link to our survey on Survey Monkey:


Riverbank Makeover Project

Similar to 2018, in 2019 Calgary River Valleys again completed a “Riverbank Makeover” project with a homeowner who backs onto the Elbow River, with funding support from City of Calgary Water Services. This project is in alignment with the City’s 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. In 2020 and 2021, we are looking for other landowners who are willing and interested in modifying their river-adjacent land to make it more flood resilient, and to restore its natural functionality. Contact us for more information.

The project had 3 main components:

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

Click here to learn more about this project.


CRV on Twitter

The ten latest CRV Tweets on Twitter.

Almost 2,500 observations posted so far in the Calgary City Nature Challenge! A good number, but only 110 people have made all those observations. We need more people to get out in the next two days and record our local biodiversity. inaturalist.ca/projects/city-… Retweeted by CalgaryRiverValleys

Heading into day 2 of #CityNatureChallenge! We'll have nice weather again so get out there and make some iNaturalist posts! Document your yards and favorite parks! #yyc #Calgary Retweeted by CalgaryRiverValleys

🌻#CityNatureChallenge 2022! 🦎April 29-May 2: Find & photograph wildlife 🔎May 2-May 8: Identify what was found 2021: 419 cities shared 1 MILLION+ observations of nature in their neighborhoods. Get your cameras ready for 2022! #CommunityScience #UrbanNature #NatureIsEverywhere Retweeted by CalgaryRiverValleys

Save the Date! Calgary River Valleys AGM - May 18, 2022 - mailchi.mp/8a09b23540f7/s…

#citizensciencemonth has been going strong in Alberta this April! April 29-May 2 is your chance to make as many observations as you can in your local CNC event: #Edmonton, #RedDeer, #Calgary, and #lethbridge! Retweeted by CalgaryRiverValleys

CRV's Annual General Meeting is coming up. We are looking for passionate and engaged #citizens for our board. Do join us! @WaterPortal Portal @elbow_watershed @BowRiverWPAC @fish_creek @nose_creek @FOCCAssociation Please RT. Thank you! mailchi.mp/8a09b23540f7/s…

The 4th annual City Nature Challenge event is April 29-May 2! Document flora & fauna in #YYC, taking photos and uploading them to the iNaturalist app or to iNaturalist.ca.

Exciting news!🎉 A critically endangered western lowland gorilla was born early this morning to first time gorilla parents, “Dossi” & “Jasiri”. All are doing well - with great early mothering skills being shown by Dossi! Learn more: bit.ly/3jYOeFr 🦍🍼 #YYCGorillaBaby Retweeted by CalgaryRiverValleys

Social Media

Stay connected with the Calgary River Valleys through our Social Media links. It’s a great way to stay up to date on the latest information regarding our waterways.

CRV on FacebookCRV on TwitterCRV on LinkedinCRV on Google +


Be sure to view our map of Calgary’s rivers, creeks, wetlands and watershed resources.

Calgary River Valleys Map

Member Photos

We’re avid photographers in addition to nature enthusiasts. It only follows that our members have a lot of great photos to share.

Get Involved With the CRV

Membership & Donations
Donate to Calgary River Valleys

Read CRV Publications

Read CRV publications, articles and past editions of the Ripple Newsletter.


Subscribe For CRV News and Updates

Have important Calgary River Valleys news and updates delivered to your email inbox. it’s a great way to stay informed on issues that may be of interest to you.

Subscribe to CRV News and Updates