Chapter President: Rob Buffler
Contact: bowheadwaters@gmail.com
Area of Interest

The Bow Headwaters Chapter area of interest includes the entire Bow River watershed upstream of the Bearspaw Dam. The Chapter has a particular interest in conserving and restoring the waters, wild trout habitats, and native trout species of the Bow River watershed for current and future generations. The Chapter’s focus includes restoration of water quality and quantity, restoration of instream and riparian habitat, recovery of threatened Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Bull Trout, and education and science development.

Chapter Description

Even though a significant portion of the upper Bow flows through a national park, from the source at Bow Glacier to the Bearspaw Dam in Calgary, the river, its tributaries and their inhabitants are affected by highway crossings, human settlements, competition from introduced aquatic species and a series of hydroelectric dams, all of which have impacted the health and ecological integrity of this important waterway. The Bow Headwaters Chapter’s vision is: a protected and restored Bow River, its many tributaries, lakes, ponds, and watershed, that serves:

  • Its abundant wild and native trout and biodiversity;
  • The million-plus people who depend on the Bow River’s water and watershed for their quality of life;
  • The next generation of anglers and nature conservationists who will care for the Bow River’s abundant trout and cold waters upstream of the City of Calgary;
  • The federal, provincial, First Nations, municipal, and private landowners who will work in collaboration with volunteer stewards together to maintain aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity of the Bow River watershed in the face of climate change and population growth; and
  • As a model for conserving and restoring water and watersheds across Canada
Chapter History

The inaugural meeting for the Bow Headwaters Chapter was held in Canmore in June 2007. Hugh Notman, the Chapter’s first president and organizer of the meeting saw an opportunity to see support for Trout Unlimited Canada expanded in the Bow Valley. Since 2007, the Chapter has been active in the community and working with partners such as the Town of Canmore, Alberta Environment and Parks and Parks Canada. The Chapter has conducted local stream and shoreline clean-ups, conducted fish and habitat sampling and habitat enhancement work in Bill Griffiths Creek, and removal of invasive species in the lower Cascade River. In 2015, the Bow Headwaters Chapter also played a significant role in a Westslope Cutthroat Trout recovery effort in Banff National Park’s upper Cascade River system. Chapter members captured 100 trout from a “core” population of Westslope Cutthroat Trout from Sawback Lake that were successfully transported to nearby Rainbow Lake in an effort to expand this federally listed threatened species’ habitat.