New Cast Members Needed

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Help tip the scales of knowledge! It’s never too early (or late) to assist young visitors in identifying their catch.

Looking for a unique volunteer opportunity this year? Bow Habitat Station is currently recruiting to their team of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers!

As a volunteer, you play a key role in supporting programs and initiatives at Bow Habitat Station that reach over 100,000 visitors each year. Whether it’s getting your feet wet in search of invertebrates in the Interpretive Wetland, helping a new angler learn to cast at the Trout Pond, or leading fish trivia with visitors in the Discovery Centre – there’s a little something for everyone!

Best of all, no prior knowledge of fish or fishing is required – we’ll do the training to ensure you’re set up for success! Of course, it is an added bonus for us when we can learn from you too.

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Meet Your AB Parks Ambassadors – Cecile B

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It’s with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of one of our Alberta Parks Ambassadors, Cecile B. Cecile will be deeply missed. She was a true ambassador for inclusion and spent endless hours volunteering with Push to Open Nature; Adaptive Nature Challenges in Kananaskis and Drayton Valley; the Alberta Parks Ambassador Program as well as other volunteer organizations.

Since 2008 she has been helping Alberta Parks understand inclusion as an exercise in creating welcoming communities in nature. She didn’t just participate passively; she lead the way by being present and engaged, taking a risk to try new things, and providing thoughtful and eloquent reflection on all the experiences she was part of. She brought light and laughter to everything she did. Her spunky personality and amazing sense of humor always brought smiles to everyone around her. No matter how tough things got, Cecile charged life with grace and was a reminder that life is a precious gift and we must seize the day. Cecile’s memory will live on and she will be there with us on the trails where we find solace, the trees where we find shelter, and the wildflowers that bring us serenity. The idea that “everyone belongs outside” was made more meaningful thanks to the perspective Cecile added.

Alberta Parks Ambassadors are united by a common passion for all things Alberta Parks and a desire to share their experiences. This spring, 130 people applied to take part in the Ambassador Program and from those applicants 13 were chosen to bring their adventures to life for everyone to enjoy and to inspire people to have their own Alberta Parks experience.

Through this 13 part blog series, we will introduce your Alberta Parks Ambassadors and share what they’ve been up to this summer.

Flora finder: Cecile B

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Cecile is a nature lover, who has been exploring the mountains with the introduction of adapted hiking equipment. One of her passions is to identify flora while hiking.  She has made it her goal to see as many of the “hidden” Alberta parks as possible. Continue reading

It’s family fishing weekend Alberta!

IMG_5448Fishy fun can be in store for everyone this weekend in Alberta as we celebrate the annual summer family fishing weekend July 9-10.

What is Family Fishing Weekend? It’s one of two weekends every year anyone can go fishing without a license. It’s is a great way to introduce your family and friends to fishing in Alberta without breaking the bank. Continue reading

Amazing Race Canada teams look to tip the scales in Calgary

TW-WadersThings got a bit fishy on this week’s episode of The Amazing Race Canada – and we mean that in the most literal sense. Now in its fourth season, the popular show’s second episode prominently features teams following clues leading them through the streets of Calgary, stopping at various sites including our very own Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery at Bow Habitat Station! Continue reading

Explore Alberta this May long weekend

The May long weekend signals the official start to spring in our province – but it also kicks off the Alberta Parks’ provincial camping season and offers other fun opportunities.

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Tigers in Alberta? Sounds kind of fishy!

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What do you get when you cross a female brown trout and a male brook trout?

If you guessed tiger trout, you’re right!

We asked, and you told us Alberta.

A total of nine water bodies were selected as candidate waters for initial stocking trials of tiger trout. These waters were further assessed during the summer of 2015 for both biological and social acceptability of stocking tiger trout.

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May long weekend: what to know before you go

It’s that time of year again; time to get out and enjoy what Alberta has to offer. So, before you head out this long weekend – or any time this summer – get the information you need from the Alberta government on fire bans, liquor bans, safe camping, and more.

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Catching a Memory

Story by Craig Brown – Information Officer at the Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Information Centre

Family Day long weekend has always been one of my favorites. It’s prime time to get out and see what Alberta’s winter landscape has to offer. My family has a tradition of coming together and doing something we wouldn’t normally do. Last year the usual ideas were thrown around. Skiing? Tobogganing? Skating? Then, someone suggested fishing.

Fishing in February seemed like an adventure but created even more questions. What did we need to know? What regulations would need to be followed? Would we need a licence?

The first thing I discovered was that since Family Day long weekend coincides with Alberta’s Family Fishing Weekend – no licence is required!

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Ride the new Nordegg bike trail to see how FireSmart works up close

We tend to think of wildfires and clear-cutting as destructive, but both have great significance in renewing forests. Alberta has a fire-dependent ecosystem and nature uses wildfire to clear out older trees, which are more vulnerable to disease and insects.

Our data shows that in the last 100 years, the forest in the Nordegg area would have naturally seen two or three wildfires if it weren’t for humans putting them out, making the forest unbalanced and at greater risk for larger, faster-burning wildfires. FireSmart helps us minimize the risk of these fires. And now, a new mountain bike trail in Nordegg provides a unique opportunity to see how these techniques look up close.

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Develop help build new FireSmart Ecology Trail

Alberta firefighters help build new FireSmart Ecology Trail west of Nordegg.

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No black? Put it back! You can help the bull trout recover in Alberta

When we announced the recovery of the trumpeter swan last week, we had some not-so-great news as well: four species have been added to Alberta’s Threatened Species List. One of the species added to the list is the bull trout, Alberta’s provincial fish.

Photo of a biologist holding a bull trout.

Photo credit: Blair Reilly, ESRD.

Threats to the bull trout 

Photo of bull trout habitat in Jacques Lake, Alberta.

Changes to the bull trout’s native habitat have contributed to its decline.

Bull trout were once abundant in at least 60 of Alberta’s watersheds, including downstream of pretty much all of our mountains and foothills. Today, only seven of those watersheds have healthy populations – all of which are found in national or provincial parks. The fish is now absent from 20 watersheds where it was once found, and the total number of bull trout remaining is estimated at only 20,000 province-wide.

Over time, the bull trout’s habitat and spawning grounds have been impacted by dams and weirs and development; competition with other species has also played a role. Bull trout take a long time to mature, produce relatively few eggs, and may spawn only every second year – so recovery is a slow and delicate process. Although fishing restrictions have been in place since the 1990s, illegal harvesting may be interfering with recovery efforts. Continue reading