Spring Headwaters Field Sampling

During the spring freshet we assess hundreds of headwater drainage features at various remote locations throughout the Rideau Valley watershed. We need your help conducting these assessments.

What to Expect

  • You’ll spend a lot of time travelling to remote areas in an RVCA vehicle with one of our professionals. Your day will typically start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m., however some days may be longer.
  • You’ll be navigating steep slopes; entering cold and fast flowing water wearing hip waders; and sometimes working in inclement weather (but never in a storm).


  • Tentative dates are March through April. Depending on the timing of the spring freshet, this opportunity may start earlier and/or end later

Skills and Competencies Required

  • To be successful in this role, you will already need to be comfortable travelling long distances, working in cold temperatures in and around water, wading through streams and walking in difficult terrain. We are looking for volunteers with good communication skills, positive attitude and the ability to work in teams.

Skills and Competencies To Be Acquired

You will gain hands on experience:

  • applying the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol module to assess headwater drainage features
  • wearing chest waders and working in small streams
  • how to operate a multiparameter water chemistry probe
  • how to measure surface water velocities
  • recognizing sediment deposition
  • detecting fish migration barriers 
  • how to identify various types of vegetation

Be Prepared

  • You will need your own transportation to and from RVCA headquarters at 3889 Rideau Valley Drive in Manotick
  • Read the RVCA's Participant Guide

You will need to provide:

  • your own warm and water-resistant clothing (dressing in layers is a good idea);
  • your own footwear and extra socks – wear closed toe shoes to get around, to wear chest waders you will require a thick pair of socks with length (no ankle socks);
  • your own lunch, snacks and beverages.

We Supply

  • electronic copy of the OSAP manual module: Assessing Headwater Drainage Features
  • chest waders and reflective vests;
  • sunscreen and DEET bug repellant;
  • sampling equipment;
  • supervision and instruction.

RVCA Contact

Contact Jennifer at


Contact Us

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504



Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario