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Health of the Rideau River


Burritts Rapids to Long Island

Research results of the Rideau River Biodiversity Project have shown that biodiversity in this section of the River is good.

image Health Card image
Happy face.  Fish were most abundant and diverse in this section. Diversity peaked between Kars and Burritts Rapids because of large cattail beds, inlets and bays suitable for spawning.

Painted turtle, Chrysemys picta.
Painted turtle,
Chrysemys picta

Sad face.

A shortage of safe nesting sites and nursery areas for frogs and turtles may become critical as increased waterfront development eliminates suitable areas.
Happy face.   During the Project, the density of zebra mussels, an invasive exotic species, was low to moderate near Burritts Rapids. Density was higher between Kars and Long Island, where it was moderate to high.
   Water Quality
Neutral face.  Throughout the course of the Project, phosphorus levels were moderately elevated in this section.
Happy face.  The River's lowest levels of E. coli were found in this section during the Project. The levels of E. coli were low enough to permit swimming on most days.
  Blue iris, Iris versicolor.
  Blue iris
(Iris versicolor) at Baxter Conservation Area.

  • The Baxter Conservation Area wetlands have extremely high aquatic plant diversity and abundance, and support a variety of fish, frogs, turtles, native freshwater mussels and birds.

  • A musk turtle, one of the rarest turtles in the Rideau River, was found in this section. The researchers were delighted to learn more about this turtle's distribution in the River.

Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos.
Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos.
See also:
Biodiversity at a Glance: the situation of animals and plants, evaluated with the help of a Biodiversity Index.

Water Quality at a Glance: measurements of several components indicate the quality of the water.

Comparative graphs of the different sections of the River.


 Burritts Rapids to Long Island
 Don't Overlook...  

Map of the Rideau River between Burritts Rapids and Long Island.
See a detailed map of the Rideau River between Hogs Back and the Rideau Falls.
Lined with Cattails and Homes
Between the Burritts Rapids lock station and Kars the shore is lined by agricultural fields, forested areas, parks and wetlands characterized by large expanses of cattails and marshy inlets.
A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Canadian Museum of Nature, Lynn Gillespie, Hemera, Anne Phelps