Open menu

1.0 Jock River-Franktown Catchment: Facts

1.1 General/Physical Geography


  • Beckwith (70 km2; 89% of catchment)
  • Montague (9 km2; 11% of catchment)


  • The Franktown Catchment resides with an extensive physiographic region known as the Smith Falls Limestone Plain. In this catchment, the limestone plain is generally overlain by organic soils. In this catchment, bedrock mostly consists of interbedded sandstone and dolostone of the March Formation and some dolostone of the Oxford Formation in the northern parts


  • The ground surface ranges in elevation from greater than 145 masl east of Franktown Road to approximately 130 masl at the catchment’s outlet

Drainage Area

  • 91 square kilometers; occupies 14 percent of the Jock River subwatershed, two percent of the Rideau Valley watershed

Stream Length

  • Jock River and tributaries: 88 km

1.2 Vulnerable Areas

Aquifer Vulnerability

  • The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection initiative has mapped scattered parts of this catchment as significant groundwater recharge areas and all the catchment as Highly Vulnerable Aquifer. There are no Well Head Protection Areas in this catchment

Wetland Hydrology

  • A watershed model developed by the RVCA in 2009 was used to study the hydrologic function of wetlands in the Rideau Valley Watershed, including those found in the Franktown catchment

1.3 Conditions at a Glance

Water Quality

  • Instream biological water quality conditions at the Jock River Franktown sample location range from “Poor” to “Very Poor” from 2011 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  “Poor” determined for this period
  • Surface chemistry water quality rating is unknown for the Jock River in the Franktown catchment

Instream and Riparian

  • Overall instream and riparian condition for the Franktown catchment is unknown

Thermal Regime

  • Warm/cool water thermal guild supporting the Jock River fishery

Fish Community

  • Ten species of recreational and bait fish

Shoreline Cover Type (30 m. riparian area; 2014)

  • Wetland (81%)
  • Woodland (6%)
  • Crop and Pasture (6%)
  • Transportation (4%)
  • Settlement (1%)
  • Aggregate (1%)
  • Meadow-Thicket (<1%)

Land Cover Type (2014)

  • Wetland (48%)
  • Woodland (25%)
  • Crop and Pasture (16%)
  • Settlement (5%)
  • Meadow-Thicket (3%)
  • Transportation (2%)
  • Aggregate (1%)
  • Water (<1%)

Land Cover Change (2008 to 2014)

  • Woodland (-12 ha)
  • Crop and Pasture (-7 ha)
  • Meadow-Thicket (-6 ha)
  • Aggregate (-2 ha)
  • Transportation (0 ha)
  • Wetland (+2 ha)
  • Water (+5 ha)
  • Settlement (+20 ha)

Significant Natural Features

  • Franktown Swamp Provincially Significant Wetland
  • Goodwood Marsh Area of Natural and Scientific Interest
  • Goodwood Marsh Provincially Significant Wetland

Water Wells

  • Several hundred (~ 480) operational private water wells in the catchment. Groundwater uses are mainly domestic but also include livestock watering and public and commercial water supplies


  • Part of one bedrock quarry license located within the catchment

Species at Risk (Elemental Occurrence)

  • Loggerhead Shrike (Endangered)
  • Blanding’s Turtle, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Gray Ratsnake (Threatened)
  • Snapping Turtle (Special Concern)

1.4 Catchment Care


  • Eleven stewardship projects undertaken (see Section 4)

Environmental Monitoring

  • Benthic invertebrate (aquatic insect) surface (in-stream) water quality collection since 2011 (see Section 2.1.1)
  • Fish survey along the Jock River (see Section 2.1.3)
  • Ten headwater drainage feature assessments in 2015 at road crossings in the catchment. The protocol measures zero, first and second order headwater drainage features and is a rapid assessment method characterizing the amount of water, sediment transport, and storage capacity within headwater drainage features (see Section 2.2)
  • Groundwater chemistry information is available from the Ontario Geological Survey for two wells located in this catchment

Environmental Management

  • Development along the Jock River and in and adjacent to the Provincially Significant Wetlands in the catchment (Franktown Swamp, Goodwood Marsh) are subject to Ontario Regulation 174-06 (entitled “Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses”) that protects the hydrologic function of the wetland and also protects landowners and their property from natural hazards (flooding, fluctuating water table, unstable soils) associated with them
  • One active Permit To Take Water (PTTW) in the catchment that was issued for construction dewatering
  • Three Environmental Compliance Approvals and/or Environmental Activity and Sector Registrations in the catchment. These are for a municipal or private sewage work; a standby power system and air emissions