Saturday, July 09, 2011

St Mary - Environmental Flows

Paddlerz might notice that the lower St. Mary is being 'ramped' - there's a gradual recession of flow. This should continue through much of the summer and flows should be paddleable through July.

This is part of a deliberate 'Environmental Flow' strategy - an attempt to promote reproduction of cottonwoods and willows, discourage some invasive weeds, and promote the aquatic ecosystem and trout fishery. With the abundant water this year, Ab. Env. and the irrigation districts are working together to try to enable some environmental restoration and the recreational paddling is an associated benefit.

The photo shows a cottonwood branch with abundant seeds that we placed at the water's edge at the start of the ramping. As the water drops, we hope that the seeds will gradually fall and land on the moist surfaces ... and hopefully a new generation of cottonwood trees will follow.