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1.0 Jock River-Leamy Creek Catchment: Facts

1.1 General/Physical Geography


  • Ottawa: (20 km2; 100% of catchment)


  • The Leamy Catchment resides within an extensive physiographic region known as the Ottawa Valley Clay Plain, which, in this catchment, can be greater than 15 metres deep. This sediment was deposited in the Champlain Sea after the last glaciation. In this catchment, the Kars Esker, a regional sand and gravel feature, lies along the eastern catchment boundary
  • In this catchment, the clay plain and esker are underlain mostly by dolostone from the Oxford Formation


  • The ground surface ranges in elevation from approximately 120 masl near Moodie Drive and Fallowfield Road to approximately 91 masl at the catchment’s outlet

Drainage Area

  • 20 square kilometers; occupies four percent of the Jock River subwatershed, less than one percent of the Rideau Valley watershed

Stream Length

  • Jock River and tributaries: 32 km

1.2 Vulnerable Areas

Flood/Erosion Hazard

  • Jock River is subject to a flooding hazard during the regional storm flood (the 100 year flood). Surveys and studies undertaken in accordance with provincial standards have determined that the 100 year flood elevation in the catchment ranges from 93.6 metres above mean sea level at the upper, mapped extent of the regulation limit at Eagleson Road to 92.7 metres above mean sea level at Moodie Drive

Aquifer Vulnerability

  • The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection initiative has mapped the northern boundary of this catchment as a significant groundwater recharge area. There is little Highly Vulnerable Aquifer and there are no Well Head Protection Areas in the 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 Leamy Creek catchment

1.3 Conditions at a Glance

Water Quality

  • Surface chemistry water quality rating on the Jock River in the Leamy Creek catchment is “Fair” over two reporting periods (2004-2009 and 2010-2015), as determined by surface water chemistry data. Frequent high nutrient concentrations and occasional metal exceedances largely contributed to the rating
  • Instream biological water quality conditions in Leamy Creek and the Jock River within the catchment are unknown

Instream and Riparian

  • Overall instream and riparian condition for the Jock River-Leamy Creek catchment as assessed by the stream characterization and headwater drainage feature assessment programs show that the Jock River and its tributaries are in generally “Fair” condition. The majority of the system has low erosion levels and a moderately healthy riparian corridor along the Jock River. Instream diversity of aquatic habitat is fairly uniform in the Jock River

Thermal Regime

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

Fish Community

  • Thirty-six species of recreational and bait fish

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

  • Crop and Pasture (62%)
  • Woodland (16%)
  • Transportation (9%)
  • Meadow-Thicket (7%)
  • Settlement (4%)
  • Aggregate (2%)

Land Cover Type (2014)

  • Crop and Pasture (68%)
  • Woodland (8%)
  • Aggregate (8%)
  • Settlement (6%)
  • Water (5%)
  • Transportation (3%)
  • Meadow-Thicket (2%)

Land Cover Change (2008 to 2014)

  • Woodland (-19 ha)
  • Meadow-Thicket (-7 ha)
  • Aggregate (0 ha)
  • Transportation (0 ha)
  • Settlement (+5 ha)
  • Water (+6 ha)
  • Crop and Pasture (+15 ha)

Significant Natural Features

  • Not applicable

Water Wells

  • One hundred (approximately) operational private water wells in the Leamy Creek Catchment. Groundwater uses are mainly domestic, but also include groundwater monitoring and testing, livestock watering and crop irrigation, and commercial and industrial uses


  • Six sand and gravel pit licenses located within the catchment. Sand and gravel resources are mainly of secondary importance

Species at Risk (Elemental Occurrence)

  • Henslow's Sparrow (Endangered)
  • Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark (Threatened)
  • Snapping Turtle (Special Concern)

1.4 Catchment Care


  • Seventeen stewardship projects undertaken (see Section 5)

Environmental Monitoring

  • Chemical surface (in-stream) water quality collection since 2003 (see Section 2)
  • Fish survey along the Jock River (see Section 3.3.9)
  • Stream characterization survey on the Jock River in 2015, working upstream to the headwaters from its mouth  where it empties into the Rideau River, taking measurements and recording observations on instream habitat, bank stability, other attributes and preparing a temperature profile (see Section 3)
  • One headwater drainage feature assessment in 2015 at a road crossing 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 level and chemistry data is available from a PGMN well located near the Twin Elm Bridge (W156). Additional groundwater chemistry information is available from the Ontario Geological Survey for a well located in this catchment

Environmental Management

  • Development along Leamy Creek and the Jock River in the catchment is subject to Ontario Regulation 174-06 (entitled “Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses”) that protects landowners and their property from natural hazards (flooding, fluctuating water table, unstable slopes/soils)
  • Seven active Permits To Take Water (PTTW) issued for ongoing municipal remediation purposes and aggregate washing
  • Two Environmental Compliance Approvals in the catchment for a municipal or private sewage work and an industrial sewage work