January 13, 2021

Mild Winter Causing Unstable Ice Throughout Rideau Watershed

For more information, contact:

  • Brian Stratton
  • RVCA Manager Engineering Services
  • 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1141

WCS – R01/2021)

January 13, 2021 – Environment Canada is forecasting mild temperatures for the remainder of this week, with daily temperatures above zero each day and some rain expected on Friday and Saturday. This follows a warmer than usual December and a mild January to date. As a result of a significant rain event on December 24 and 25, water levels are above normal for this time of year in the some of the lakes and rivers in the Rideau Lakes and Tay Valley sub-watersheds. Generally, water levels are at normal levels for the remainder of the watershed. 

Although no significant flooding is anticipated at this time, it is expected that water levels and flows will continue to fluctuate across the watershed with the continued warmer-than-normal conditions and forecasted rain later this week. As a result, ice thickness can change drastically and be unpredictable. The shoreline adjacent to lakes, rivers and creeks is also very slippery and poses a serious hazard. Falling into open water can result in hypothermia or drowning.

The RVCA reminds the public to exercise extreme caution around all waterbodies by:

  • Regularly testing ice thickness and staying off ice that may cover flowing water
  • Reminding children about the dangers of playing on or near ice covered surfaces and open water
  • Keeping pets on leash near frozen water bodies.

Ice Safety Ice Depth

RVCA does not monitor or maintain ice conditions anywhere, including its 11 public conservation areas. This includes the Rideau River and its tributaries, as well as the ponds, lakes and other bodies of water within our parks.

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5 PM or until an update has been issued.

"Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is a partnership of municipalities within the Rideau Valley watershed created under the Conservation Authorities Act to deliver a range of programs in watershed management and natural resource conservation."

 RVCA Watershed Conditions Statements:

  • Water Safety – High flows, unstable banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
  • Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts, calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams and/or lakeshore flooding or erosion.
  • Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individuals in flood prone areas should prepare.
  • Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.

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