Open menu

1.0 Kings Creek Catchment: Facts

1.1 General/Physical Geography


  • Beckwith (39 km2; 43% of catchment)
  • Montague (25 km2; 27% of catchment)
  • Ottawa: (27 km2; 30% of catchment)


  • The Kings Creek Catchment resides with an extensive physiographic region known as the Smith Falls Limestone Plain. In this catchment, the limestone plain is discontinuously overlain by organic soils and localized areas of beach sands and gravels
  • In this catchment, bedrock consists of interbedded sandstone and dolostone of the March Formation in the southern parts, and dolostone of the Oxford Formation in the northern parts


  • The ground surface ranges in elevation from approximately 142 masl at the head to approximately 100 masl at the catchment’s outlet

Drainage Area

  • 91 square kilometers; occupies 16 percent of the Jock River subwatershed, two percent of the Rideau Valley watershed

Stream Length

  • Kings Creek and tributaries: 143 km

1.2 Vulnerable Areas

Aquifer Vulnerability

  • The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection initiative has mapped scattered parts of this catchment as a significant groundwater recharge areas and all the catchment as Highly Vulnerable Aquifer. Parts of Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA) D for the municipal wells in Kemptville underlie the southern extent of 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 Kings Creek catchment

1.3 Conditions at a Glance

Water Quality

  • Surface chemistry water quality on Kings Creek catchment is “Good” due to a few of the measured parameters exceeding their respective guidelines
  • Instream biological water quality conditions at the Kings Creek sample location range from “Fair” to “ Poor” 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 “Poor” determined for this period

Instream and Riparian

  • Overall instream and riparian condition for the Kings Creek catchment as assessed by the stream characterization and headwater drainage feature assessment programs show that the Kings Creek and its tributaries are in generally good condition. The majority of the system has low erosion levels and a healthy forested/wetland riparian corridor along Kings Creek. Instream diversity of aquatic habitat is fairly complex in the lower reaches of Kings Creek, while the upper and middle reaches are dominated by wetland which is a very important wetland feature with high values that support catchment health

Thermal Regime

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

Fish Community

  • Twenty-nine species of recreational and bait fish

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

  • Wetland (55%)
  • Crop and Pasture (19%)
  • Woodland (19%)
  • Transportation (3%)
  • Settlement (2%)
  • Meadow-Thicket (1%)
  • Aggregate (<1)

Land Cover Type (2014)

  • Woodland (40%)
  • Wetland (26%)
  • Crop and Pasture (22%)
  • Meadow-Thicket (6%)
  • Settlement (4%)
  • Transportation (2%)
  • Aggregate (<1%)
  • Water (<1%)

Land Cover Change (2008 to 2014)

  • Meadow-Thicket (-26 ha)
  • Woodland (-17 ha)
  • Crop and Pasture (0 ha)
  • Water (0 ha)
  • Aggregate (+1 ha)
  • Transportation (+5 ha)
  • Wetland (+11 ha)
  • Settlement (+24 ha)

Significant Natural Features

  • Franktown Swamp Provincially Significant Wetland
  • Nichols Creek Provincially Significant Wetland
  • North Montague Swamp Area of Natural and Scientific Interest
  • North Mud Lake Provincially Significant Wetland
  • Pinery Road Provincially Significant Wetland
  • Prospect Bog Provincially Significant Wetland
  • Richmond Fen Provincially Significant Wetland

Water Wells

  • Several hundred (~ 430) operational private water wells in the Kings Creek Catchment. Groundwater uses are mainly domestic but also include livestock watering and municipal and other public water supplies


  • Four sand and gravel pits within the catchment. Sand and gravel resources are limited and of tertiary importance

Species at Risk (Elemental Occurrence)

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

1.4 Catchment Care


  • Thirty-four stewardship projects undertaken (see Section 5)

Environmental Monitoring

  • Chemical surface (in-stream) water quality collection since 2003 (see Section 2)
  • Benthic invertebrate (aquatic insect) surface (in-stream) water quality collection since 2003 (see Section 3.3.1)
  • Fish survey along the Jock River (see Section 3.3.11)
  • Stream characterization survey on the Jock River in 2015, working upstream to the headwaters from the mouth of the creek where it empties into the Jock River, taking measurements and recording observations on instream habitat, bank stability, other attributes and preparing a temperature profile (see Section 3)
  • Twenty-five 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 3.4)
  • Groundwater chemistry information is available from the Ontario Geological Survey for a well located in this catchment

Environmental Management

  • Development along Kings Creek and in and adjacent to the Provincially Significant Wetlands in the catchment (Franktown Swamp, Nichols Creek, North Mud Lake, Pinery Road, Prospect Bog, Richmond Fen) 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 Kings Creek catchment issued for pit/quarry dewatering
  • Environmental Compliance Approvals issued for a municipal and private sewage work and a municipal or private water works in the catchment