Now that planting season has past and our crop is secure and growing, the entire riparian zone is full of life, including plenty of mosquitoes. But after plenty of bug spray and some foot work, it was nice to see the planted willows from last year doing well, along with those plants from previous years. This is the way it works with riparian planting programs, you need to continue planting for years to get the recovery program working like it should.
It is always nice to report good results, but this is only evident after multiple years of planting. This spring, there was no planting program on West Nose Creek, but it is still rewarding to observe how the plants are growing, over time. The future holds promise for the sites we have worked so hard to restore.
Recently, I stopped at Harmony Lake, just west of Calgary, and checked out the aquatic weeds in the lake. Bow Valley Habitat Development conducted a weed enhancement program as part of a kick start to the lake’s fishery. The areas planted are now covered with a bed of Chara and there are also some Coontail and Richardson pond weed patches, but these are limited.
The program also involves stocking management to get things underway. There may be limited access to the lake for those fly fishers that like to catch trophy trout, but this will be finalized once the community decides on how to manage this program. The access will probably be managed with a daily permit, which will help fund the stocking costs. I will keep you informed on any future developments.
There are five surviving willows in this photo, one full year after the last planting. The site received multiple plantings, like we do on all of the planting sites. In the end, it is all worth the cost and effort. This will be shown in future photos of the planted sites. Right now, along the stream banks of West Nose Creek, the shoreline grasses and sedge are really high and it is hard to find the plants without some careful observation.