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6.0 Hobbs Drain Catchment: Challenges/Issues

Water Quality/Quantity

Surface chemistry water quality rating along the Hobbs Drain is “Fair”. The score at this site is largely influenced by occasional high nutrient concentrations, bacterial pollution and metal (aluminum) exceedances.

Instream biological water quality conditions at the Hobbs Drain sample location range from “ Poor” to “Excellent” from 2004 to 2015 (using a grading scheme developed by Ontario Conservation Authorities in Ontario for benthic invertebrates) with an overall benthic invertebrate water quality rating of “Good” determined for this period.

Natural hazard lands have not been identified.

Drainage problems have led to establishment of altered wetland conditions and land use conflict (amongst development, quarry, agriculture and wetland conservation interests).

Existing hydrological and geochemical datasets and assessments (academic, RVCA, others) are only recently available and/or are not being considered in the characterization of the numerous hydrologic functions of the Jock River subwatershed. Further, there is a dearth of hydrologic information (hydroperiod, groundwater/surface water interactions, geochemistry) about the wetlands that remain in the Jock River subwatershed.

Headwaters/Instream/Shorelines

‘Natural’ vegetation covers 58 percent of the riparian zone of the Hobbs Drain and its tributaries (Figure 25 and is below the recommended 30 metre wide, naturally vegetated target along 75 percent of the length of the catchment’s watercourses

No information available about instream aquatic and riparian conditions along Hobbs Drain

Land Cover

Woodlands cover 30 percent of the catchment and equals the 30 percent of forest cover that is identified as the minimum threshold for sustaining forest birds and other woodland dependent species (Figure 23)

Pre-settlement wetlands have declined by 17 percent and now cover 24 percent (756 ha.) of the catchment (Figure 24). Forty-four percent (334 ha.) of these wetlands remain unevaluated/unregulated and are vulnerable to drainage and land clearing activities in the absence of any regulatory and planning controls that would otherwise protect them for the many important hydrological, social, biological and ecological functions/services/values they provide to landowners and the surrounding community