Projects Inventory


Cows and Fish



1992 - Ongoing

Audience(s): Cow-Calf NGOs Government   Project Type(s): Demonstration

A handshake agreement started Cows and Fish in 1992 - a recognition that livestock producers needed a voluntary, proactive approach to manage riparian issues.  Although Cows and Fish earned its name for work in riparian areas influenced by grazing, we work across the landscape, being about more than cattle grazing and fish and all about landscape health.  Think of Cows and Fish in terms of partnerships, communities, stewardship, biodiversity, and sustainability, for urban and rural areas.  Our work increases awareness about riparian areas and watersheds, and how management can enhance health and productivity, benefitting landowners, communities and others who use and value these areas. 

The Cows and Fish Process is based on five elements: awareness, team building, tool building, community-based action, and monitoring and evaluation.  This process fosters stewardship, builds ecological literacy and management skills, and promotes ownership of management actions to those who own, manage or use the land. 

We deliver extension events, develop tools (e.g. videos and guides), evaluate riparian health and offer management advice.  Cows and Fish relies on the support of many groups and individuals, particularly our members: Alberta Beef Producers, Trout Unlimited Canada, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Alberta Environment and Parks and Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.


Goal #4: Enhance riparian health and reduce the water footprint of beef production

Indicators Addressed:

Our work supports/ promotes all the natural resource indicators

  • Riparian areas, wetlands, surface and ground water sources and nutrient runoff are responsibly managed to help maintain or enhance watershed health.
  • Soil health is maintained or enhanced.
  • Practices that support carbon sequestration and minimize emissions are understood and/or employed.
  • Air quality for people and animals is responsibly managed
  • Grasslands, tame pastures and native ecosystems are maintained or enhanced
  • Habitat for wildlife is maintained or enhanced, and wildlife conflict prevention is managed.
Communication Tools:

We continue to look to partners to invite and include us on relevant activitites, including grazing schools, workshops, conferences, etc, as well as work with local partners (eg. counties and watershed groups) to deliver content (awareness & expertise) at the local level.  Our overall expertise and management information is on our website as part of many formats (documents, videos, webinars, etc).

Tagged as: Environment