Great Growing Season – So Far!

Willows Growing Fast

I have visited all of the 2018 planting sites to inspect our 2018 crop of 9,700 native willows and trees. The new plants that have been planted along the three area streams are doing great. It has been a really good growing season so far, with rain coming at just the right time throughout the spring and early summer. My trips to inspect the sites has also given me the opportunity to see how previously planted crops are growing. Things are looking pretty good for past plantings and we are definitely making a positive impact along the local streams.

Above: These willows growing right along the water’s edge on West Nose Creek in Calgary, are doing very well. They were planted last season and the new willows are taking to the soil along the steep banks of West Nose. In a few more years they will provide some well needed cover over the creek.

I am especially excited about our planting work on eroding stream banks. The new willows are creating ideal stability on the once sliding soil on the outside of oxbows in the streams. Plants from our first few years of planting are now providing excellent trout habitat as well as keeping the soil from sliding into the stream channel. The result is a cleaner streambed and more food for more trout.

Above: The native willows that were planted on the outside of this stream bank in 2015, are now growing out and over the stream channel, providing overhead cover for resident trout.

This is the fifth year of the Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program. So far we are making good headway with our riparian planting work. Thanks to our partners and volunteers that are planting thousands of native willows and trees annually, over many kilometres of stream bank. The three streams in the program are Nose Creek, West Nose Creek and Bighill Creek.

About Guy Woods

I am Director of Bow Valley Habitat Development, based in the Town of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. I love to fly fish and it is this past time that prompted me to get involved in the field of riparian and fish habitat enhancement. I have been working in this pursuit for over 40 years!
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