City of Calgary begins rebuilding Bow River fish habitats
Work has begun on the Quarry Park channel that was lost in 2013 flood
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The 2013 floods in Calgary had a severe impact on the Bow River ecosystem – but so did restoration projects in the flood’s aftermath.
Rebuild projects reinforced riverbanks in preparation for the likelihood of a future flood, but in the process of repair, many of the fish habitats along the river were damaged or lost altogether.
“We have to look at trying to bring things back,” said Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating.
“Because of the fishing trade, both recreational and commercial in Calgary, it’s well worth the investment,” he said.
A 2010 survey conducted by the fisheries management branch of Alberta Environment and Parks determined that fishing on the Bow contributes nearly $25 million to Calgary’s local economy each year.
In 2016, a City of Calgary study assessed 45 potential locations for their fish compensation program, which was implemented in accordance with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada fisheries act, which states that lost habitats must be replaced.
Work is set to begin in Quarry Park, the first of five shortlisted locations.
Prior to the flood, Quarry Park had a historical side channel that ran alongside the Bow for about a kilometre, and which is now completely dry.
A new channel opening onto the river is being excavated and will be completed in two phases, the first of which will take place until May 30, and the second from July 16 to Oct. 30, 2017.
Pathways along this channel will be closed off; Calgarians can visit www.calgary.ca/pathways for detour routes.