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1.0 Eagle Lake Catchment: Facts

1.1 General/Physical Geography

Drainage Area

34 square kilometres; occupies four percent of the Tay River subwatershed; one percent of the Rideau Valley watershed.


Eagle Creek catchment resides within part of the physiographic region known as the Algonquin Highlands. In the Tay River subwatershed, this ancient and hilly geologic region is made up of such Precambrian rocks as marble, conglomerates, and dark or colour banded granite-like rocks. A veneer of glacial drift (glacial till, sand etc.) overlies the bedrock. A geologic fault may run north-south through the eastern section of the catchment.

Municipal Coverage

Central Frontenac Township: (32 km2; 93% of catchment)

South Frontenac Township: (2 km2; 7% of catchment)

Stream Length

All tributaries (including headwater streams): 64 km

1.2 Vulnerable Areas

Aquifer Vulnerability

Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection program has mapped a small part of the catchment as a Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas and all of the catchment as a Highly Vulnerable Aquifer. 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 Eagle Lake catchment.

1.3 Conditions at a Glance

Fish Community/Thermal Regime

Warm and cool water recreational and baitfish fishery with 16 species observed in Eagle Creek during 2016.

Headwater Drainage Features

All are natural and wetland features with the majority of them having no anthropogenic modifications.

Instream/Riparian Habitat

Eagle Creek: Low to high habitat complexity with increased habitat complexity observed in the middle and lower reach of the system within the catchment.  Dissolved oxygen conditions are somewhat variable along the system with sections in the upper reach below the guideline to support warmwater biota, which can be typical of wetland habitats; however, sections in the middle and lower reaches are acceptable for warm/cool water species.

Land Cover Change (2008 to 2014)
Catchment Woodland Settlement
Hectares -1 +1
Land Cover Type (2014)
Catchment Woodland Water Wetland Settlement Crop-Pasture Meadow-Thicket Transportation
Percent 52 26 13 3 2 2 2
Shoreline Cover Type (30 m. riparian area; 2014)
Catchment % Eagle Lake  % Eagle Creek   % Leggat Lake % Streams* %
Woodland 64 Woodland 83 Wetland 75 Woodland 79 Woodland 56
Wetland 27 Settlement 11 Woodland 20 Settlement 11 Wetland 38
Settlement 5 Wetland 4 Transportation 4 Wetland 7 Transportation 3
Transportation 2 Transportation 1 Settlement 1 Transportation 2 Crop-Pasture 1
Meadow-Thicket 1 Meadow-Thicket 1 --- --- Meadow-Thicket 1 Meadow-Thicket 1
Crop-Pasture 1 --- --- --- --- --- --- Settlement 1
*Excludes Eagle Creek
Species at Risk (Elemental Occurrence)
Status Species at Risk
Threatened     Blanding's Turtle Eastern Whip-poor-will --- ---
Special Concern Eastern Milksnake Eastern Ribbonsnake Northern Map Turtle Snapping Turtle
Water Quality for the Protection of Aquatic Life (2006 to 2017)
Water Quality Source Eagle Lake Eagle Creek Leggat Lake 
Surface Chemistry    Very Good Fair to Good Fair to Good
Instream Biological --- Poor to Fair ---

Eagle Creek: Benthic invertebrate samples are more tolerant to high organic pollution levels during most years.

Water Wells

Approximately 120 operational private water wells in the Eagle Lake catchment. Groundwater uses are mainly domestic but also include livestock, public and commercial water supplies.

1.4 Catchment Care

Environmental Management

The Eagle Lake Property Owners' Association prepared the State of the Lake Report - Eagle Lake (2011) to provide a summary of what is known about the Eagle Lake catchment along with the community’s vision for the lake and a list of its main concerns and actions to address them. This has been followed up with the State of the Lake Report - Eagle Lake Update 2015.

One Environmental Compliance Approval was sought in the catchment for a camp sewage works.

Environmental Monitoring

Chemical surface (in-stream) water quality collection by the RVCA since 2003 (see Section 2 of this report).

Benthic invertebrate (aquatic insect) surface (in-stream) water quality collection by the RVCA since 2003 (see Section 3.3.1 of this report).

Fish survey and stream characterization survey on Eagle Creek by the RVCA in 2016 included taking measurements and recording observations on instream habitat, bank stability, other attributes and preparing a temperature profile (see Section 3 of this report).

Fourteen headwater drainage feature assessments were conducted by the RVCA in 2016 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 of this report).

Classification of Eagle Lake catchment land cover types derived by the RVCA from colour aerial photography that was acquired during the spring of 2008 and 2014 (see Section 4.1 of this report).

Groundwater chemistry information is available from the Ontario Geological Survey for one well (#13-AG-031) located in the catchment.



Five stewardship projects were completed by landowners with assistance from the RVCA (see Section 5 of this report).