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fishteck last won the day on December 16 2020

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About fishteck

  • Birthday 05/03/1946

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  1. Monger: Fiddling with angling pressure is the easiest thing for the government to attack...so of course that is what they will go after. It will be interesting to see what restrictions the government will come up with (seasonal closures, gear restrictions, maybe even booking a time like they have done in BC). Fish Biol Paul C mention the "economic value" of the Bow. That means the guiding industry. What about the intrinsic value of the fishery for the thousands of folks who don't need/want to hire a guide? The fish are a public resource, not just a resource used to create profit by a small segment of society. Joe public will need to make their voice heard as a STAKEHOLDER so that you can still fish as the guide boats go by. Public access/opportunity should trump guiding opportunity for rod days if we eventually get to that scenario. The direct economic contribution of anglers to the Calgary economy was documented in a presentation to the City of Calgary - River Access Strategy in 2016 was estimated at $ 24.214 million with projection up to 2024 of $33.129 million. Table 2 attached. Certainly this forecast has been blown away by Covid restrictions in recent years. Nevertheless, the guiding industry represents less than 5% of the revenue generated from the Bow River. There has been considerable debate over these data from within the guiding industry as it does not include the expenses of the guided angler. But the majority of guided anglers are locals, and will have purchased fishing equipment outside of the guided trip. But even if the total angler costs are assigned to the guided trip, the contribution is less than 10%. Even within the Alberta Fishery Management Objectives, commercial interests (guiding and outfitting) are ranked as less important than the protection of the environment and recreational activities. This would certainly indicate that the recreational angler is of more importance to the decision making process than the guiding interests. And would suggest that any regulation change will focus on the benefits to the recreational angler and the fishery itself. Table 2: An Economic Forecast of the Growth of Calgary and District Recreational Fishing Activities. Year 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 Guided Trips 2,000 2,100 2,310 2,541 2,795 Float Trip/day $ 600 $ 636 $ 675 $ 715 $ 758 Guide Revenue $ 1,200,00 $ 1,335,600 $ 1,557,310 $ 1,815,823 $ 2,117,250 Increase over 2016 $ 135,000 $ 357,310 $ 615,823 $ 917,250 Bow River Anglers 12,000 12,600 13,230 13,892 14,586 Expenses / Year $ 2,018 $ 2,078.54 $ 2,140.90 $ 2,205.12 $ 2,271.28 Rec. Fishing Revenue $ 24,216,000 $ 26,189,604 $ 28,324,057 $ 30,632,467 $ 33,129,013 Increase over 2016 ($) $ 1,973,604 $ 4,108,057 $ 6,416,467 $ 8,913,013
  2. Bow River Water Management Policy always comes up as a complaint. But TransAlta has made substantial changes to how they ramp-up and ramp-down water flows out of Ghost Reservoir this year. Without exception, all spikes in flow this year are a result of rainfall in or around Calgary. This is totally outside of AEP or TransAlta control. And remember TransAlta has no control over the water discharge mandated by irrigation districts. Regulation Change - Well overdue. The Rainbow Trout Population has declined by more than 50% from 2003 -2013, and continues to where it may be only 20% of the 2003 population. If the decline continues the Bow River fishery will drop below its ability to sustain itself. Self restraint is needed - fish once a week rather than 3-4 times a week. Cut out dredging the riverbed with a string of SJW's. And take your cell phone an chuck it in the back of the car. No one cares about the "trophy" fish of 12 to 14" long you caught. If not, expect to see very restrictive regulation change. Guided Angler v Non-Guided Angler v Shore Angler: The 2018 survey showed an equal split of anglers between the three groups. The question that has not been answered is catch rates for each group. If the guides are doing their job, more fish should be caught by guided anglers. But the angler who owns his own boat could well catch just as many fish, but more often selects a less aggressive stance to fish-catch numbers. There is also an increasing number of shore anglers who fish throughout the year, possibly catching more fish annually than either guided or non-guided boat anglers. Therefore take you pick as to who to blame, but be aware the recapture rates for the Bow River are getting high. 3 - 5 times a year, if not more. Mortality rates increase every time a fish is caught that adds to the annual mortality rate. Fishery Management Options - Although more than 20 potential threats to the Bow River fishery have been identified, very few can be managed within the current scope of AEP operations. Regulation change, seasonal restrictions and catch limits are all possible. But anglers need to take a more responsible approach to just what a day's angling looks like. Do we need to catch 20 fish each time we got out?
  3. The Bow River - Alberta's Worst Kept Secret Alberta Conservation Association's 2021 Fall/Winter Conservation Magazine - page 2021 https://issuu.com/albertaconservationassociation/docs/aca_cm_fall_2021_interactive/s/13737707 AEP discussion group Wednesday November 03, 2021 7PM. Details follow: https://mywildalberta.ca/fishing/fisheries-management/default.aspx
  4. McKinnon Flats new road construction complete. Open to the public April 2021.
  5. I have spent a considerable amount of my time recently on the subject of the Bow River Water Management Policy and the impact on the Fishery. And along with others within the fishing and paddle community have managed to get the ear of senior AEP water and fishery staff as to ways to make improvements to water management operations for the Bow River. You may ask what this has to do with the subject of Bow River guides? A lot, because the water management debate has opened up the Cumulative Effects Computer Modeling needs for the survival of the Bow River trout fishery. The recent 2018 creel survey and the fish population surveys for the past three years all point to a need for ways to reduce the impact of one of the highest angling efforts in Alberta on a depleted fish population such as the Bow River. This combined with variable flows, lower invertebrate populations, and hydrological changes to the river, all point to a need to reduce the impact of angling on the Bow River fishery if its status as a world-class trout fishery is to be preserved. Although some say more research is needed to support fishery and water management change, there is a wealth of published information that supports immediate change to the Bow River fishery management policy to stem the tide of trout population declines. Although guide licensing is a hotly debated subject, when combined with special licensing to fish a fishery at risk such as the Bow River and possibly the Oldman River drainage, the angling effort will be reduced. Add to this a ban on triple-hooks, the use of barbless hooks, and possibly other gear restrictions one can see how the attraction to fish the Bow River where the recreational experience and fish populations would improve. LInk to CRUA website - The Bow River Water Management Policy andthe Impact on the Fishery
  6. I find this post interesting as no one has addressed the major problem on the Bow River of lack of fish to chase by a growing number of guides who lack the experience to find the fish that are available. Certainly, many of the names listed as "good guides" are there because for their time on the water over the past 20 years. They have the knowledge to switch up to techniques to match an angler’s skill and preferred angling technique. But unfortunately, very few guides and anglers have the desire to improve their skills beyond just putting fish in the boat. There are government plans to license fishing guides in the next couple of years. I just hope that there is some restriction on who is classified as a guide. Maybe an apprenticeship program is needed. Spending a few days on the river in a guide school does not make a guide. And dragging a boat owner off the river to row for a corporate float trip does nothing for the credibility of the Bow River guiding profession. Clearly, this discussion has illustrated the importance to be careful what you are asking for in a guide. Fish numbers are not always the most important goal!
  7. The following image gives a better idea of the scale of the new road construction. The site will be closed to public vehicle access during the road construction starting September 08, 2020 with an expected completion date of mid-December. The road will remain closed until the spring of 2021 - probably early April weather permitting. An alliance of stakeholders is being formed to advocate for added capital infrastructure improvements to the property. Hopefully an expanded overflow parking lot that will at some time become the sole parking lot with the existing parking area and river access site being turned into a more formal river access-boat ramp and staging area, similar to what has be done within Calgary at West Baker Park and the new Ogden Bridge river access site now under construction. Certainly there is need for a master plan development strategy to meet the ever increasing recreational use of McKinnon Flats. But for that to take place a commitment is needed from all users to work towards a common goal to protect what we have and improve where possible. Calgary Fish & Game Association has been spearheading partnership discussions on site development. The following link give futher information: https://calgaryfishandgame.com/mckinnon-flats-stewardship-proposal/
  8. https://www.calgaryriverusers.org/mckinnon-flats-closure-september-01-2020/
  9. Jayhad: In 2006 the City of Calgary at the request of the Calgary Fire Department closed all previously public accessable boat ramps above Grave Bridge to " Emergency Access Only". Following the 2013 flood the CFD added the Shouldice Park and Quarry Park boat ramps to their exclusive emergency service boat ramps. Grave Bridge was left open because the CFD would get stuck on the new gravel bar after the 2013 flood. It became the only city ownerd public boat ramp. Nevertheless, many guides had access keys to the emergency access keys to Cushing Bridge and other river access sites in the city as part of an agreement between the old guide association and the city. In addition, for a long time the CFD and CPD did not always lock the gates to boat ramps but by 2016 things changed with the City of Calgary development of the River Access Strategy whereby new public access ramps were approved by City Council. West Baker Park upgrades were the first with a new CFD boat ramp added to the site and the old ramp was upgraded to what we see now. A new ramp at Inglewood and Ogden Bride was also in the mix. Inglewood access is problematic, hence the reason for CRUA approaching CMLS for access at St. Patrick's Island. Ogden Bridge river access site is being built this yeaR. So what I am getting at Jathad, if you have been able to access any of the emergancy access only boat ramps with a trailered boat in the last 10 years, you were probably doing so because the access gate was not locked, you had keys or accessed at some casual river access location of your own. Any of these options could get you a ticket.
  10. Vitalshok - it is listed on the CRUA website. The road access off Ogden Bridge is just south of the bridge before you go under Calf Rope Bridge. Supplies for the boat ramp and road construction are being stockpiled. Construction will start after runoff with completion in the fall
  11. Jayhad- I am not sure where you have been putting in or taking out, but both West Baker Park was closed to the public until this year and Shouldice was closed to trailers boat access until last year. Yes you could drop a boat in anywhere if you wished to carry it to the river bank. But now there are three designated trailers boat access sites above Harvie Passage. Toolman - the City of Calgary has invested $2 million in the River Access Strategy in the past two years with both West Baker Park boat access upgrades and the new boat ramp at Ogden Bridge this year. The GOA has spent in the region of $ 1 million for the new boat ramp at Harvie Passage, although the access to it is currently problematic. A new road to Mckinnon Flats is planned for this year at a cost of $2 million. Policeman's Flats has be upgraded over the past two years at a cost of $50,000 and an additional $25,000 of government (ACA) funds in 2020. I believe governments and their agencies have done their share.
  12. I believe that technically it is possible to maintain the 2M social distancing in the longer drift boats. I have just measured the distance from the middle of the rower's seat to the middle of the front seat on my 15' skiff at 1.70M. But under a days fishing it would be impossible to maintain the current social distancing guidelines. It appears that some relaxation to the mandatory 2M distancing guidelines is taking place. That is "wear a mask if the 2M distance cannot be maintained". With the use of buffs commonplace in the fishing community this may be an option. We all want to get out and enjoy our fishing with friends, but maybe this is the year for a solitary pursuit. Beyond the fishing the question of shuttle service operations needs clarification by the GOA. It is difficult to believe that social distancing guidelines can be maintained.
  13. It is certainly interesting to see the comments here!! Classical fly fishing community - bitch about everything and not appreciate what has been done to allow the city reach of the Bow River to be fished from a drift boat. A few facts: St. Patrick's Island is not a part of Calgary Parks Department. It is operated by Calgary Municipal Land Corporation who spent $$20,000 to make it possible for drift boat access. Be thankful- without this access the upper city reach of the Bow River would not be accessible to drift boats. The upper and lower concrete "roadway" are approved for vehicle use. Access is better from the top, down across the gravel based driveway in a wide approach and straighten up on the bottom roadway and you will be able to back straight into the lagoon. Avoiding the light bollard is a challenge, but will test your driving skills. There are proposals for improvements this year. Some will most likely be volunteer based. Others will more likely need a financial commitment from river users. Keep in touch with this post to assist with improvements. Parking is payer use. Park in the north-west area of the parking lot -pay for 2 stalls (truck and trailer) and you won't get a ticket. And finally keep a positive viewpoint on the boat ramp. We were fortunate to get access last year. I know of a dozen drift boat users from last year who used the ramp on a regular basis. Both as a take out and put-in to run through Harvie Passage. To run through Harvie Passage Low Water Channel the Western Irrigation Districts water diversion gates need to be closed. That was completed last week. And will be closed until mid October or later if the weather holds up. .
  14. Calgary River Users' Alliance has produced an overview of all boat ramps in Calgary and downstream to Carsland. https://www.calgaryriverusers.org/bow-river-boat-ramps/ You can also keep up with Bow River flow forecasts on the same website https://www.calgaryriverusers.org/bow-river-flow-forecasts/
  15. Monger: The statement "Although the cause/effect for the decline (in rainbow trout) was not determined, it suggested that angling effort could well be the major contributor to the decline" is in my mind accurate! The 2003 to 2013 data analysis did not pinpoint the cause of the trout population decline or the primary corrective action that should be taken. Even to suggest that angling effort could well be the major contributor in the decline is purely speculative considering the data set available to the investigators. There are more than 15 potential causes sighted in the CRUA document for the Bow River trout decline, therefore singling out just one, angling effort would appear to be questionable. You may consider the reference material in the document "bad science" but the reality is that surveys conducted over a short period of time cannot account for all the variables in the data set. Alternatively, a standardized scientific design that would give more validity is next to impossible to achieve with field evaluations and surveys. Many researchers have spent a career trying to prove an hypothesis and never achieved it. Therefore trying pinpoint the principal causes of the trout decline will be difficult. The most we can expect is to narrow the field of possibilities down to just a few. And I am in agreement with you that angling effort may well be at the top or close to the top. Wastewater discharge into the Bow River has improved considerably over the past 20 years. Fish habitat and invertebrate life has seen a change. Hydrology and environmental shifts have taken place that could well have had an impact on fish survival. And all the time angling pressure has increased. At what time did angling pressure out rank other impacts would be hard to define. But I believe we have passed it. Therefore, most of us would say that action is needed on the part of fishery managers to stop the trout population decline. Whatever changes are made to enhance the fishery will need to be based on the information that is currently available. Hiding behind "more research is needed" to make a decision is foolhardy. Adjustments to policy can always be made in the future if deemed appropriate. The decision to reduce angling pressure is more of a political decision than logical thinking. So, what fishery management change will we see is anyone’s guess! And thanks for the dialogue.
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