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.


Marko Polo said...

very cool. nice work out there!

Anonymous said...

Very nice stakeholders collaboration work! Thanks for leading the way Stew!

I'm available to paddling this weekend July 16-17. If anyone is going out on a river somewhere please give me a call I likely would join you.


Anonymous said...

Di & are running the short surf stretch through Rain Wave tomorrow ... and looking for the 'new forest'. We're heading to Fernie for the weekend.

Last weekend Hubert and I ran the standard Belly run which was very high for July - quite different having a June-type flow but with green, clearish water.

The triple ledge was clear but downstream in the braid zone we encountered a tree across a full right-hand channel - just after you first see the big wind-mill on the right. We went over the tree but it won't be runnable when the water's lower - although then the current would be less.

Head's up out there - with the high flows there's still wood coming down and banks are still being undercut.

(in Fernie - cell at 403-892-9601)

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