The Bow River is a crucial part of Calgary’s identity… and it’s also a great place to cool off on a hot spring or summer day.
Floating down the Bow (or the Elbow) is something of a rite of passage for Calgarians, with its slow, winding waters providing the perfect pace to enjoy a day in the sun with friends.
Unfortunately, Calgary’s rivers can, at times, get a little rough (remember 2013?), with water flow gaining in strength depending on the amount of rain or snowmelt that joins the waters further upstream.
Such was the case on May 28, when the City of Calgary had to place a boating advisory on the Bow River, warning would-be boaters and floaters that the water flow in the river had exceeded 280 m³/s (cubic metres per second) — the trigger point that an advisory must be called at.
However, by Friday, June 1, the city determined that the river’s flow rate had stabilized below 280 m³/s, and the boating advisory was lifted.
A handful of eager Calgarians have already launched their tubes, rafts, and boats on Calgary’s rivers, making the most of the unseasonably warm spring that the city has been enjoying over the past month.
As always, river users are urged to use caution whenever they spend time on the river, as debris from upstream may become a dangerous hazard.
“During the spring/summer runoff season, melting snow and floating debris can create dangerous conditions for people on the river, prompting these types of advisories,” the City of Calgary’s release states.
“A lifted advisory does not remove the need for caution on the Bow River and all other waterways.”
A lifejacket is recommended for anyone who does not want to face a mandatory court appearance, fines, or a dire situation out on the water. The release also states that river users should abstain from drinking alcohol while on the waterways.