Construction To Begin!
Construction of the rocky ramp at the Hearts Desire Weir will begin on September 4, 2018.
Hearts Desire Weir
Located on the lower Jock River near Prince of Wales Drive, the Hearts Desire weir was built in 1975. The goal at the time was to provide higher summer flows, improve habitat for fish, ensure water for livestock and provide community ponds for fire protection and beautification. Since that time, conventional thinking regarding the environmental benefits of weirs has changed; and moreover, the weir has been identified as a safety concern to both staff who oversee its annual maintenance and to those who canoe and kayak in the river.
In October 2017, the RVCA will begin the Hearts Desire Restoration Project that includes decommissioning the weir, construction of a rocky ramp and restoration of Jock River shoreline. Read the Media Release
Note: during the rocky ramp construction phase (over two to three weeks) there will be no access to the park adjacent to the weir. Watch for construction details here.
The existing concrete sill of the weir will remain in place. The steel I-beams will be cut off and the rocky ramp will be constructed over the concrete sill.
Decommissioning the weir will eliminate a risk to staff who are responsible for installing and removing the weir panels. It will also improve public safety by eliminating dangerous water conditions that can occur at the weir during high flows. Removal of I-beams will increase safety as they pose a risk to canoeists and kayakers when the weir panels are out.
Rocky Ramp Construction
Armour stone and boulders will be configured so that a centre channel is formed with pools and other features that support fish and fish migration.
This innovative dam replacement option will help maintain upstream water levels that are important to the community and achieve several environmental improvements. The rocky ramp will help restore natural flow features and reduce erosion, allow for fish passage all year long through a centre channel, improve water quality and increase shoreline vegetation and habitat.
RVCA is working with property owners to naturalize newly exposed shoreline areas. The goal is to re-vegetate and stabilize newly exposed shorelines with native species and manage invasive species. Once restored, this stretch of river will have a much healthier riparian zone, will be less prone to erosion and could be more esthetically pleasing without the seasonal variation in water levels that caused previous exposed shorelines.
The Hearts Desire project is made possible thanks to funding from the City of Ottawa, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Muskies Canada and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. Thank you to local landowners for their cooperation and involvement in this project and to representatives from the Hearts Desire Community Association and the Stonebridge Community Association for worked successfully to bring everyone together to move this project forward.