Since 1998, there has been an effort in the works to bring back the fishery in the Bighill Creek. The two most important objectives undertaken include willow and tree planting and the removal of old beaver dams, so that trout can migrate up the stream to live and to spawn! This natural recruitment of wild trout will bring back added life to this small stream and consequently enhance the sport fishery for local anglers!
The beaver dam removal program was first started by the Branches and Banks organization, working in conjunction with the Town of Cochrane. The Town of Cochrane, Parks and Facilities staff have since continued the program and the results are proving to be very positive thus far! Populations of both brown trout and brook trout are slowly taking hold in the lower reaches of the stream and over time, their presents will be established further and further upstream in the system!
In 2009, the beaver dam removal program was expanded to the next landowners property, located just upstream of the Town of Cochrane. Bow Valley Habitat Development and the Millennium Creek Fly Fishers started by removing some old dams on that reach of the stream, so that trout could migrate further upstream into suitable habitat that was already for occupancy. Branches and Banks joined in on the project, to help plant some willows and trees along the banks of the drained old dam sites.
All of the efforts to date are paying off, with good trout spawning activity, documented on the Bighill Creek, since 2009! The following links will take you to some video footage of spawning brook trout and brown trout that occurred on the stream in the fall of 2011: