Stream Tender Magazine

December 2015 Issue

Cochrane Community

Grant Program

Inside This Issue

“Ranch House Spring Creek Spawning is Back Online for 2015”

Above: These brook trout are ready to spawn on Ranch House Spring Creek in 2015. Due to a dewatering of nearby Cochrane Lake, the 2014 spawning season was a “right off”. However, in the fall of 2015, the trout returned to the creek to once again spawn and create a new generation of trout.  READ MORE

Above: This photos shows one of the willow plants from this year’s planting program on West Nose Creek. The grass was tramped down to expose the entire plant. The photo was taken in August.

“Bank Stabilization Sites are Taking Root”

Above: On all three streams in the “Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program” eroding stream banks are planted with native willow and tree plants to help stabilized them with a network of root systems.

“ Millennium Creek Restoration Project is Now Supporting the Eighth Spawning Season For Brook Trout and Possibly Brown Trout.”

Above: This photo of a colourful male brook trout was taken on Millennium Creek in the fall of 2015. There was another substantial spawning season documented on the creek, which makes the eighth successful year of spawning, since the completion of the four year stream restoration program in 2008.  READ MORE

Canon Canada and Evergreen Planting Finishes Off the Season

    On October 7th and 8th of this year, a corporate group of volunteer planters from Canon Canada planted 700 Stage Two native willow and tree plants on West Nose Creek in the City of

Calgary, Alberta.

    This was the final planting for the 2015 Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program season. The weather was great on both days and the group did a fine

job of getting the remaining native stock planted along the stream banks of the creek.

    The program was a partnership between Evergreen, Canon Branching Out Program and BVHD.

“Plants From Last Year’s Bow Valley Riparian Program are Doing Well”

    Last year was a great one for both planting and growing willow and tree plants along the three streams in the program.

    It was nice to see that many of last year’s crop were growing high enough above the surrounding natural cover, to stand out and be noticed.

    In some areas, the growth was exceptionally good and the willow plants are now establishing themselves along the water’s edge.

    It will take another few years before they make a major visual impact on the landscape.

“The 2015 Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and

Enhancement Program was A Major Success”

    This year’s Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program set a record for planting.

    A total of 14,895 native willow and tree plants were planted along the stream banks of the three streams in the program.

    The planting area covered over 14 kilometres of stream bank on Nose Creek, West Nose Creek and

Bighill Creek.

    The partners involved in this year’s program are all listed on the left hand side of this magazine’s cover page.

    Last year, the total number of native plants in the 2014 program was 10,500, covering 11.5 kilometres of stream bank.

    This brings the total over the past few year’s to 25,395 plants.

    The break-down for this year’s planting efforts was as follows:

Bighill Creek —2,517

West Nose —9,878

Nose Creek —2,500

    West Nose Creek received the majority of plants for this year. This stream has the greatest potential of benefiting from a major riparian planting program. There is a recovering fishery on the stream, which flows thru the City of Calgary.

“A Major Discovery On West Nose Creek”

    Over the summer and fall of 2015, Bow Valley Habitat Development spent some time conducting some study work on West Nose Creek. I know from past experience that the more that you know about a stream, the better equipped you are to improve it’s well being.

    While conducting some water temperature research on the entire system in August, BVHD made some contacts with landowners and started to map important feeder springs on the creek, along with some survey work.

    The big surprise came in the fall, while I was conducting a spawning survey. My first day of the survey revealed some trout redds, in early October. This occurred on the lower reach of the stream, near the Harvest Hills Over-pass, in the City of Calgary.

    In order to verify that the redds were created by trout, on my second trip I took my fly rod and tried to capture at least one trout.

    To my surprise, I captured a small brown trout just downstream of one of the trout redds. Further down from where I caught my first trout, I hooked into 4 more brown trout. One of the fish was approximately 19 inches in length.

    However, I knew that the only way to convince any fisheries managers that there was actually spawning occurring on West Nose Creek, was to get some photos or video of spawning trout. Timing would be very important in accomplishing this task.

    I got really lucky on a warm fall day approximately one week later. While inspecting some ground water springs on the Country Hills Golf Course, both Scott MacArthur (Course Superintendent) and I managed to discover some rather large brown trout spawning at about mid-point on the Golf Course. Finally, I had my photos and video.

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