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Improving the Ecological Function of the Upper Bow River & its Watershed

Project #: 4W1043
Start Date: 03/01/2006
End Date: 12/31/2007
Status: Completed

The upper Bow River in Banff National Park has been described as “North America’s most beautiful trout stream.” However, this world-class ecological and recreational resource is facing a crisis as evidenced by the population decline of its native bull and westslope cutthroat trout. Some of the factors affecting the watershed include water regulation activities, non-point and point source pollution, angler mortality, fire suppression, and climate change. Other factors identified by Parks Canada include the introduction of non-native species, the physical isolation of the upper Bow River from the middle and lower sections of the river by Seebe Dam, and loss of habitat connectivity due to railroad and highway infrastructure. This project aims to improve the ecological integrity of the upper Bow watershed above Seebe Dam by addressing some of the factors that are limiting bull and westslope cutthroat trout populations.


To research and prepare a report that summarizes factors influencing the past and present population of bull and westslope cutthroat trout in the upper Bow River, details current data and data gaps, and provides recommendations for future actions and research.