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Fish compensation program

After the 2013 flood, The City completed several riverbank stabilization and rehabilitation projects at various locations along the Bow and Elbow Rivers. While necessary, these projects resulted in the loss of fish habitat which we now need to replace based on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) fisheries act.

The City undertook a River Morphology and Fish Habitat Study in 2016, and assessed over 45 potential projects. Three projects along the Bow River were shortlisted for detailed design and potential construction:

Construction adjacent to Quarry Park will begin in spring 2017, and carry thru until the fall. This will result in temporary pathway closures.

Consultants may be on site to collect soil and sediment samples, and to conduct field surveys in Bowmont and Beaverdam Flats during spring and summer 2017. Some of this preliminary work to gather data may include using equipment to dig small areas.

Should you have any further questions on the study or these projects, please contact 311.

What is bioengineering, and how does it help fish compensation?

Fish Compensation Image One

When plant roots and branches grow along the river's edge they weave together forming a sturdy network that helps hold soil in place. This organic structure protects the riverbank from erosion and provides natural habitat for birds, insects, fish and other wildlife.

Fish Compensation Image two

Traditional engineered bank protection like rock riprap or concrete creates a hard barrier to protect infrastructure such as roads, bridges, pipelines and property from erosion. Since this strategy overwhelms most vegetation along the riverbank, root systems disappear, natural habitats are lost and biodiversity is threatened.

Bioengineering combines vegetation and built components to shore up eroding riverbanks. Water loving shrubs, trees, grasses and other native plant matter take root among structural elements like timber crib wall, rock lining or boulders, fortifying the land. The resulting natural habitats support a diversity of birds, insects, fish and wildlife.