Stream Tender Magazine

Articles by Guy Woods

July 2012

Riparian and Fish Habitat Enhancement   Fisheries Management    Bio-Engineering   Stream Reclamation and Restoration    Bank Erosion and Sediment Control    Water

“ Before and After Photos Show Results”

See some examples of this!

“Millennium Creek Restoration Update!”



    It has been four years since the completion of the stream restoration and fish habitat enhancement  project on Millennium Creek! My, how time flies!

    It has been a pleasure to monitor the work that was completed on the creek, over the past four years. Every year, I take the time to walk the stream banks of Millennium Creek and observe how the pool habitats that were constructed are doing.

    The pools are now sheltered by willow plants and still providing a deepwater refuge for the resident trout! The dark-deep water and undercut banks are perfect habitat for the trout to stay hidden in and for a small creek like Millennium, this is a perfect home for them!

    For the casual passer-by, it would be hard to tell that the pools were made by the hand of man, rather than natural influences! The log v-weirs at the head of the pools is now covered with algae and moss, making them blend into the streambed!

    I often see trout holding in these pools, when I am walking the edge of the stream bank. Some of those trout are relatively large for such a small trout stream! There are also juvenile trout from the early season’s hatch on the creek!

Above: This is one of the pool habitats, four years after it was constructed on Millennium Creek.

Branches and Banks and Glenbow Elementary School Planting Program

Continues in 2012!


    The first year of this school planting program was in 2010, and it involved grade 4 students. The second year, in 2011, there were grade 3 and 4 students participating. This year, the younger grade 2 students also rolled up their sleeves and helped plant over 400 willow plants along the Bighill Creek, just blocks away from their class rooms.

    The school planting program is organized by local Branches and Banks executive Tim Giese and school teacher Kim Knitter, with plenty of help from volunteers and other teachers from the Glenbow Elementary School.

    There were over 300 students from all of the classes that had a chance to plant at least one willow plant along Bighill Creek. This year’s weather conditions were great, for the third year running and no rain suits and gum boots were required.

    All of the holes for the plants were pre-drilled, so that all the kids had to do was pop the willow in the hole and fill it with a soil and water mix!

Above: Cochrane Glenbow Elementary School kids get first hand experience planting willows

“Nose Creek Watershed Program Undertakes Major Corporate Willow Planting Projects this Season!”


    Erin MacMahon had a busy planting season this year, with plenty of new willows that were planted along the banks of West Nose Creek and Nose Creek , Airdrie!

Erin is the program coordinator for the watershed partnership program and an employee of Trout Unlimited Canada.

    Working with corporate groups from Microsoft, CP, Stantec and BP retirees, Erin managed to get over 1,750 willow plants into the ground! Plantings were carried out on West Nose Creek and along Nose Creek in the Town of Airdrie. All of the sites chosen for planting were in dire need of some stream bank cover!

    This riparian recovery program for the Nose Creek system is a daunting task, but the long term benefits will be a definite improvement in both the fishery and the water quality of Nose Creek. Other wildlife will also benefit from the newly created riparian zone!


“2011 Bighill Creek Willow Planting Update”


    In 2011, a total of 1,036 willow and trees were planted along the banks of Bighill Creek at two different planting sites. The planting  project was a result of a partnership program between BVHD and Inter Pipeline, as part of the Bighill Creek Project, Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program.

    BVHD is pleased to report that the results of that planting program has been very successful! The 2012 PHOTO ON THE RIGHT: Shows a few of the willow plants this spring, growing very rapidly along the creek!

    These willows were the Stage One, pre-rooted plants, prepared  and planted in 2011.

“Bighill Creek Project 2012—Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program”

    The 2012 Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program on Bighill Creek resulted in the successful planting of over 1,500 willow and tree plants this year! With a partnership between BVHD, the Cochrane Foundation and the Town of Cochrane Community Grant Program, the willow and tree planting project topped the  previous record set for willow planting in the Bighill Creek Project, during past years.

    There were four planting sites chosen for this year’s program, all of which were located on areas of the Bighill Creek that were in need of  riparian recovery work. Three of the sites were in Cochrane Ranch Park and the largest site was located in Glenbow Park, further downstream.

    It turned out to be a great season for planting willows and trees along Bighill Creek, with plenty of precipitation to insure that the survival rates for the plants is high, when compared to previous planting seasons! The planting sites have been monitored on a regular basis to see how their growth has progressed! At this point in time, the survival rates for the plants is in the high 90% range and it is expected that most of these plants will make it through to their second season!

    It will take approximately three to four years before the willow crops are large enough to stand out, above the riparian grasses. Once they reach the fifth year, they will be quite obvious along the banks of the Bighill Creek.

    One of the four planting sites is located on a known spawning area for both brown trout and brook trout, so the future growth will enhance this location for spawning trout.

Cochrane Community Grant Program

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