Following the 2013 flood, The City undertook a number of projects to repair and reinforce riverbanks along the Bow River. These projects helped protect critical City infrastructure but in some cases, had compounding impacts on sensitive fish habitat along the river. In order to appropriately compensate for the loss of habitat, The City identified a number of sites that could supplement lost habitat at other locations. A project in Bowmont Park was one of the sites chosen.
The project is located adjacent to and partly within Bowmont Natural Area Park (Bowmont Park) on the north bank of the Bow River. Work will entail:
- Reopening historic side channels
- Re-establishing flow to the side channels, through excavation and re-contouring, to provide year-round connectivity from and to the main channel of the Bow River
- Constructing additional fish habitat structures using large trees and boulders
- Re-planting of all areas disturbed and the new channel banks with native plants and grasses;
- Providing additional bank and channel enhancement and protection to promote natural channel function while protecting infrastructure and the environment.
The City will also replace the existing (North) pedestrian bridge with a longer single span bridge. When the existing pedestrian bridge was constructed in the early 1990s, the channel width was reduced from 35 m to 15 m, which has severely limited flood water flow under the bridge. This has likely contributed to the significant amount of gravel and river cobble that has accumulated upstream of the pedestrian bridge. Widening the channel at this location will help achieve our goal of creating healthy fish habitat.
Work on this project will begin this fall and continue through the winter. For more information on this project and The City’s fish compensation program, visit Calgary.ca/fishcompensation.