The Calgary Rivers Users’ Alliance (CRUA) was formed to improve recreational boating access to the Bow and Elbow Rivers in Calgary. More recently the scope of our advocacy has expanded to recreation management improvement across the Bow River Basin.
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April 23, 2023NewsCalgary’s river valleys are essential to our city—they’re at the core of our city’s identity and its appeal as a place to live, play and do business. The City is planning for the future of our river valleys through the Calgary River Valleys Project. The purpose of the project is to guide how we plan, use, conserve and build in our river valleys, with a focus on coordinated and purposeful land use policies. This is an opportunity for you to voice what is important to you about the city’s river valleys, to ensure that those values shape approaches to development, recreation, natural space and flood hazard planning. Engagement is open April 27 – June 5, focused on clarifying priorities and values for our river valley communities. Participate in the conversation at Calgary.ca/RiverValleys. [...]
February 21, 2023NewsCalgary River Users Alliance (CRUA) is reaching out to river user to assist with the development of a strategy for the future of the Bow River Basin’s recreational river use. The CRUA position is to advocate for regional river access improvements and to work closely with our membership organization who have a vested interest in specific sites to meet this goal. It takes considerable time on the part of all stakeholders to ultimately get a successful outcome. We need your help to develop A Vision for the Lower Bow River In the past year CRUA had success in developing the Harvie Passage Task Force and have laid the groundwork for a river access strategy for the Upper Bow River from Ghost to Bearspaw Reservoirs. Both projects have been headed up by Alberta Whitewater Association, under the umbrella of CRUA. The Lower Bow River needs the same focus, and we believe there are anglers and paddlers who could contribute to this project. We need your help to make it happen. Please contact us at for additional information as to how you can help. [...]
November 16, 2022NewsOn November 03, 2022, Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) approved the TransAlta WaterCharger Storage Project at the Ghost Power Plant on the Bow River west of Cochrane, Alberta. The following Link to the TransAlta website gives details of the project. In addition, the Transalta Project Update – November 2022 covers the license approval. Calgary River Users Alliance (CRUA) filed an Expression of Concern for the proposed project with the AUC earlier this year. Our concerns, which focused on possible changes to water management operations at the Ghost Power Plant were taken to TransAlta for comment. Although TransAlta gave assurances that the operation of the Ghost Power Plant would not change to support the battery storage project, it is unclear as to what changes within the current Ghost Water License Agreement will take place. TransAlta has agreed to continue discussions with CRUA over our concerns later this fall. An update will be issued in Q1 2023. [...]
September 2, 2022NewsThe Calgary River Users’ Alliance (CRUA) was formed in January 2016 to improve recreational boating access to the Bow and Elbow Rivers in Calgary. It has now expanded the scope of engagement to the entire Bow River Basin and its water management and recreational use policy. A 2016 CRUA reports showed the direct annual economic contribution of the Bow River fishing community to the City of Calgary businesses exceeds $24.5 million annually. The total contribution that all river users make to Calgary’s business sector was estimated at $50 million annually. Two reports prepared by CRUA in 2022 suggest the economic importance of river recreation pursuits within the Bow River Basin far exceeds what had previously been thought. The report, The Bow River Fishery Economic Forecast forecasts growth from $26 million in 2016 to $39 million in 2024, a 50% increase in eight years. The second report, The Economic Importance of Water-Based Recreation in the Bow River Basin gives an analysis of non-motorized water-based outdoor recreation activities, which included canoe, kayaking, standup paddling, rafting, and casual river recreational activities. An estimated $76 million to the Bow River Basin economy. When the two reports are combined, outdoor recreation activities could contribute $115 million annually to the region’s economy. These reports also emphasize that an in-depth assessment of river recreation use is paramount to achieving much-needed financial resources to enhance infrastructure and develop strategies to protect a very valuable recreational resource and economic driver to the local business community. To achieve this, CRUA believes that the inclusion of the Bow River Basin recreation management objectives should be included in the Government of Alberta South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP). CRUA will continue to advocate for a Bow River Basin Recreation Management Plan at all levels government. [...]
July 6, 2022NewsThe economic importance of outdoor recreation has grown in recent years. The Bow River offers Calgarians the opportunity to participate in paddle sports and fishing as a part of their daily recreation needs within minutes of leaving the house. Further afield, the Bow River Basin is a hub of outdoor recreation activities. Land-based recreation pursuits have predominated government policy to protect public land and enhance responsible recreational activities through designated land use zones. Although protection of the ecology of streams and rivers has been recognized in these plans, the recreational river use policy needs improvement. Calgary River Users Alliance has documented the importance of a Bow River Recreational Management Plan that we are hoping will be taken up by the Government of Alberta in revision to land use policy in the coming months. A part of our submission is a review of the economic importance of all river-based recreation activities. The first of which is a review of The Economic Importance of the Bow River Fishery . The Report Summary:This economic update of the Bow River fishery is heavily weighted from reports dating back to 2012. A precise economic forecast is therefore difficult to make. Nevertheless, the 50% increase in the economic contribution to the local economy over eight years from $26 million in 2016 to $39 million in 2024 warrants further investment in river access infrastructure and services available to river recreation users. The number of guides operating on the Bow River, and the contribution they, and their clients make to the local economy have doubled since 2016 to $1.81 million of guide revenue and $1.00 million in estimated client expenses. It is important to recognize that the Bow River fishery together with all river recreational use has changed considerably since 2016 when CRUA made the first economic forecast to support Calgary’s investment in the River Access Strategy. The paddling community in particular has grown as an important component of recreation river use. When combined the economic importance of outdoor pursuits across the Bow Basin’s rivers it could well exceed $100 million per year. [...]
Bow River Flow Forecast - 2022
Bow River Flow Forecast
Bow River Boat Ramp
Bow River Boat Ramps
Bow River Float Times
Bow River Float Times
Calgary River Access Website
Calgary River Access Strategy