1.0 Glen Tay Catchment: Facts
55.7 square kilometres; occupies 7.0 percent of the Tay River subwatershed; 1.3% percent of the Rideau Valley watershed.
The Glen Tay 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 large area of younger sandstone is located in the northern section of the catchment. Bedrock is overlain by large expanses of glacial till and clay. A geologic fault may run across this catchment.
Rideau Lakes Township (4.7 km2; 9.0% of catchment)
Tay Valley Township (50.8 km2; 91.0% of catchment)
All watercourses (including headwater streams): 137.5 km.
1.2 Vulnerable Areas
The Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection program has mapped part of the northern area of the catchment as a Significant Groundwater Recharge Area and all of the catchment as a Highly Vulnerable Aquifer. There are no Well-Head Protection Areas in the catchment.
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 Glen Tay catchment.
1.3 Conditions at a Glance
Fish Community/Thermal Regime
Warm and cool water recreational and baitfish fishery with 29 species observed in the Tay River and Scotts Snye during 2017.
Headwater Drainage Features
Classified as wetland and channelized features with historical modifications in the form of straightening.
Tay River: Moderate to high habitat complexity was identified for the Tay River and the Scotts Snye. Regions with increased habitat complexity were observed throughout the reaches of the system within the catchment. Dissolved oxygen conditions for the Tay River and the Scotts Snye varied along the system for both warm and coolwater species.
Significant Natural Features
Grants Creek Provincially Significant Wetland
|Status||Species at Risk|
|Special Concern||Eastern Musk Turtle||Eastern Ribbonsnake||Snapping Turtle|
|Tay River||@ Noonan Side Rd.||@ Glen Tay Rd.||@ Bowes Side Rd.|
|Surface Chemistry||Very Good||Good||---|
|Scott-Snye||@ Upper Scotch Line Rd.|
Tay River: Benthic invertebrate samples are dominated with species that are sensitive to high organic pollution levels.
Approximately 330 operational private water wells in the Glen Tay catchment. Groundwater uses are mainly domestic, but also include commercial and livestock water supplies.
Wetlands are reported to have covered 30 percent of the Glen Tay catchment prior to European settlement, as compared to 15 percent (or 8.4 square kilometres) of the area in 2014. This represents a 49 percent (or 8.0 square kilometre) loss of historic wetland cover. Less than one percent of the remaining wetlands are regulated leaving over 99 percent (or 8.4 square kilometers) unregulated.
1.4 Catchment Care
Development along the Tay River (Christie Lake to the Town of Perth) and in, and adjacent to, the Grants Creek Provincially Significant Wetland 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 (i.e., flooding, fluctuating water table, unstable soils) along with the hydrologic function of the wetland.
One Permit To Take Water (PTTW) is active in the catchment for industrial use .
Chemical surface (in-stream/lake) water quality collection by the RVCA since 2006 (see Section 2 of this report).
Benthic invertebrate (aquatic insect) surface (in-stream) water quality collection by the RVCA in the Tay River at the Noonan Side Road location since 2011 (see Section 3.3.1 of this report).
Fish survey and stream characterization survey by the RVCA on the Tay River in 2017 included taking measurements and recording observations on instream habitat, bank stability, other attributes and preparing a temperature profile (see Section 3 of this report).
Nineteen drainage feature assessments were conducted by the RVCA in 2017 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 Glen Tay 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).
The Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office has conducted 58 voluntary septic system re-inspections on 59 properties along the Tay River from 2004 to 2017 (see Section 5.4 of this report).
Provincial groundwater level and chemistry, air pressure and precipitation data is available from a Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network site located near Glen Tay (W083).
Thirty-seven stewardship projects were completed by landowners with assistance from the RVCA (see Section 5 of this report).