We've completed this year's project well ahead of schedule.
The objective of the Chapter's project this year was to compliment ACA’s Riparian Conservation Program by protecting riparian land along the 2,630 metres of the Raven River flowing through the MacCharles property approximately four kilometres west of Caroline, Alberta. This river provides some of the finest brown trout angling in the province but riparian land and water quality were being adversely affected by the farmed livestock, primarily cattle, on this quarter section.To achieve the objective, the Northern Lights Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada successfully applied for a grant from ACA to contract the installation of wildlife friendly exclusion fencing along each side of the Raven River that runs through the MacCharles property and provide an alternative, portable watering system for the farmed livestock that otherwise would utilize the river. Once ACA staff finalized an agreement with the landowner, a 12-volt solar-powered Classic Trailer watering system was purchased and placed on site to provide alternative watering for the landowner’s livestock. Fence line mulching and fence installation were completed as soon as the ground was dry enough. In addition, walk-in access points were created for anglers and others to gain access to the primarily mature spruce covered riparian land along the river. Signage will be installed by ACA in the near future. The project has provided protection for 33 acres of riparian land. By excluding farmed livestock from the river and providing alternative watering access, river banks have been stabilized, siltation reduced, improved habitat for fish, aquatic organisms and wildlife created and increased recreational opportunity for anglers and those interested in experiencing nature in a more pristine setting has been established. This project has unexpectedly encouraged a neighbouring landowner to show interest in riparian protection on his property and ACA is in early stages of negotiating an agreement with him. Also, based on the success of the project on the MacCharles property, ACA staff are considering this as a possible demonstration site for future bioengineering projects.
The project has exceeded expectations and already received acclaim from anglers.
The MacCharles property is located approx. 4 k west of Caroline on Highway 54 with primary access on RR 63 - see map: