Jebbs Creek Wetland Embayment Creation Project will converting a small area of existing meadow habitat in the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s Perth Wildlife Reserve Conservation Area to a series of small riverine wetland embayment’s along the shoreline of Jebbs Creek within Tay Valley Township in Eastern Ontario. Jebbs Creek is a tributary in the Tay River watershed, which supports a warm/cool water fishery. The purpose of the Jebbs Creek Wetland Embayment Creation Project is to create 1,600 m² of new spawning, nursery, rearing, and feeding habitat for the 20 species of fish that reside in Jebbs Creek.
The key target fish species will include creating spawning and nursery habitat for northern pike (Esox lucius) to support the Jebbs Creek and Tay River watershed fisheries. The Kemptville District of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests manages the Tay River watershed for an extremely diverse fishery which includes northern pike (Esox Lucius), small mouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and walleye (Sander vitreus).
Northern pike is a local sport fish, well known for its large size and predatory nature. Despite its reputation as a top predator, northern pike are particularly sensitive during spawning and are often subject to high egg mortality; therefore, it is crucial to ensure that suitable spawning habitat exists to support this species. Through a multi-tier approach, it is our goal to create and maintain a suitable spawning and nursery site for northern pike along Jebbs Creek, while helping to improve shoreline stability, riparian habitat and water quality. The feature will also provide a small riverine wetland embayment’s along Jebbs Creek which will provide important habitat for breeding birds, amphibians, turtles nesting habitat with a goal to increase overall biodiversity.
Since the project is located at a Conservation Area there is a strong opportunity to engage the community and provide educational and enhanced recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to the area.
Project Location – Conceptual Layout
- Enhance fish habitat by creating new spawning, nursery, rearing and feeding habitat for the fish community of Jebbs Creek (target species northern pike)
- Improve food supply for aquatic and terrestrial species through increasing overhanging vegetation along the shoreline.
- Improving the function of adjacent wetland habitats for aquatic species
- Create a quiet backwater area adjacent to the main current of Jebbs Creek.
- Provide winter and summer refuge areas for fish.
- Protect water quality and enhance wildlife habitat by establishing a naturalized buffer with native species of trees and shrubs
- Altering elevations to create conditions more suitable for more diverse submergent and emergent aquatic vegetation
- Enhance recreational and educational opportunities at the site by installing educational signage
- Engage and educate community members by involving volunteers in the process and providing a demonstration site that shows a variety of cost-effective methods to protect and enhance shorelines and wildlife habitats.
- Partnership opportunities with various groups and the Conservation Authority.
Project implementation will be carried out by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and partners. A variety of techniques/applications will be carried out including:
- In-water planting of aquatic sedges and grasses known to be favorable for northern pike spawning
- Installation of wood structure to further enhance nursery habitat
- Re-vegetation of the riparian area by planting native trees, shrubs and wetland vegetation
- Maintain the pathway system adjacent to the embayment feature to continue access for recreational use
- Deposit the excess fill in specified areas in the adjacent field outside of the regulatory area and seed these areas with a pollinator seed mix to support pollinator habitat
- The installation of an interpretive sign along the adjacent existing pathway, with partner logos, describing the project benefits from a watershed management perspective
- (2015-2018) background data collection to inform the detailed design process
- December/January 2017/18 Refine and further develop the wetland embayment proposal
- February/March/April 2018 prepare Detailed Design (contour plan, cross section plan, landscape plan, structures plan)
- April 2018 site visit with RVCA/MNRF staff
- June 2018 review of plans for permits and tender package for potential contractors
- July/August 2018 Around the Rideau announcing the project and partners prior to construction
- September 2018 Construction of the wetland feature
- November/December 2018 Around the Rideau announcing completion of the project and showing construction and volunteer photos
- Post effectiveness monitoring 2019, 2021, 2023 (year 1,3,5)
Aquatic and Fish Habitat Biologist,
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-3571 ext. 1108