The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority in partnership with the Otty Lake Association collaborated to enhance fish habitat in Otty Lake — specifically spawning, nursery and feeding habitat for smallmouth and largemouth.
What was done?
Phase 1 (2013)
- Installed 75 gravel spawning beds a using round river wash stone
- Deposited wood branches and small trees anchored in cement as well as brush bundles — this wooded debris created habitat for many food sources such as crayfish and aquatic insects as well as places where fish can rest, find shelter and feed
Phase 2 (2014)
- Installed 83 spawning beds and sank 185 wooden clusters as shelter and feeding habitat
- Placed 58 large rocks (cornerstones) various nests providing additional cover for dedicated smallmouth bass fathers as they brood their young
Phase 3 (2015)
- 49 spawning beds, nine brush piles were placed in shallow weedy bays to provide more shelter and feeding habitat
- 75 cornerstone were placed at various nests which provides cover and shelter for the guarding male and fry
Through all three phases 228 bass nests were installed, 133 cornerstones added, 335 trees/branches and nine brush bundles placed in shallow areas. A total of 840 volunteer hours were accrued. In addition, 20 wood duck nesting boxes were installed.
RVCA staff and volunteers monitored the success of the project with site visits in spring and summer. This entailed counting active nests, making observations on the integrity of the gravel and observing the wood structures using an underwater camera.
successful/confirmed spawning on nests
2014 — 41%
2015 — 43%
2016 — 55%
2017 — We will be monitoring spring/summer of 2017
Aquatic and Fish Habitat Biologist,
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-3571 ext. 1108