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Health of the Rideau River

 

Smiths Falls to Burritts Rapids

Research results of the Rideau River Biodiversity Project have shown that this section of the River has the greatest biodiversity.

image Health Card image
Happy face.  The Rideau Bird Sanctuary provides well-used and vital nesting and staging areas for birds.
Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata.
Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata.
Happy face.   The wetlands support a thriving sport fish community, including largemouth bass and northern pike.
Happy face.   At the time of the Project, zebra mussel populations were very low in this section. They were not yet a threat to the native freshwater mussels, which were still abundant and diverse here.
Eastern elliptios, Elliptio complanata. Eastern elliptio, Elliptio complanata.
  Water Quality
Happy face.   At the time of the Project, phosphorus levels in this section were moderate, and the lowest of the entire River.
Happy face.  During the Project, the levels of the bacteria E. coli were low enough in this section to permit swimming on most days.
  Highlights
  • The section flowing between Burritts Rapids and the Old Slys lock station are havens for biodiversity. The same can be said for The Swale, which is an area situated a little beyond the lock station at Smiths Falls.

  • This section is surrounded by high-quality wetlands that support diverse aquatic plant communities, frogs, turtles, aquatic insects, birds and breeding areas for fish.

  • The rapids in this section are habitats rich in native freshwater mussels and fish.



Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos.
Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos.
See also:
Biodiversity at a Glance: the situation of animals and plants, evaluated with the help of a Biodiversity Index.

Water Quality at a Glance: measurements of several components indicate the quality of the water.

Comparative graphs of the different sections of the River.

 

 Smiths Falls to Burritts Rapids
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 Don't Overlook...  
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Map of the Rideau River between Smiths Falls and Burritts Rapids.
See a detailed map of the Rideau River between Smiths Falls and Burritts Rapids.

Vast Wetlands
Between the Smiths Falls and Burritts Rapids lock stations, the Rideau River is very wide and slow moving.

The Rideau River near Merrickville.
The Rideau River near Merrickville.
A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Ruben Boles, Canadian Museum of Nature, Hemera, André Martel