Events & Updates

July 2014 – Carp River Monitoring Program

Bridge GaugeDoes 1 inch of rain equal a 1 foot rise in the Carp River?

Since August of 2012, volunteers have been monitoring rain fall and water level at 6 locations along the length of the Carp River.  The data are sent to the MVCA for analysis to correlate rain fall with the rise and fall of the Carp River.

Data from volunteers are integrated with data from three MVCA flow gauges in the river, which are located at Maple Grove in Kanata, Richardson Side Road, and Kinburn.

The MVCA has been monitoring flow rates at Kinburn since 1972.   These are measurements taken at a single point in the river, but some conclusions can be drawn.  There is less water flowing in the Carp River averaged over the year likely due to lower snow fall, but there is more water in the river in the summer:

  • The maximum annual flow has been decreasing.  This correlates with less snow melt.
  • The mean annual flow has decreased slightly.
  • The maximum summer flow has been increasing, likely due to more frequent and larger summer storms.
  • Mean summer flows are increasing.  While a trend in higher temperatures should lead to more evapotranspiration, it is believed that summer flow rates are higher due to more hard surfaces upstream.
  • The minimum summer 7-day mean flow has been increasing.

For more information, go to our Carp River Monitoring page.

May 2014 – Canoe the Carp River Event a Success!

The Friends of the Carp River and the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) hosted 10 boats and 20 people in their  “Canoe the Carp River” event on 25 May.  The event was held to introduce people to the natural beauty of the Carp River, which is the only river to lie entirely within the City of Ottawa.

Canoes and kayaks launched at the village and paddled upstream to the Huntmar Bridge, returning to Carp for a round trip distance of about 11 km.

Boaters saw natural areas and wildlife along the route:  forests, wetlands, a turtle, muskrat, and herons.  Also visible was evidence of past dredging in the straightened channels and high banks, and runoff from pastures and fields without plants on the river bank to buffer it.

Thank you to Karson Kartage for use of their portapotty, to Tubman Funeral Home for use of their parking lot, and to Sue P. for refreshments.  The West Carleton Review published an article about our event:  Friends Paddle the Carp River.

Read West Carleton Review reporter Derek Dunn’s comical account of his “race” down the river with fellow paddlers:  Sojourn Along the Might Carp Definitely Not a Race.

May 22 & 23 - Over 1000 Trees and Shrubs Planted

IMG_1141Volunteers and staff from the MVCA planted over 1000 trees and shrubs along the Carp River and one of its tributaries.  Funding for the trees was provided through the Ottawa Stewardship Council’s Carp River Green Banks program.  The expected impacts of this project include filtering agricultural runoff from entering the Carp River and stabilizing the banks to prevent further erosion. Both of these issues contribute to poor water quality. The shrubs/trees planted will also create new habitat for wildlife with food and shelter.

Trees and shrubs were also planted in the Craig Side Road area where blockages were removed in the fall.

2014 – Volunteers Needed for Stream Assessment

The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority is running a City Stream Watch Program on Huntley Creek this spring and needs volunteers help to complete it.  Huntley Creek flows from Highway 7 east of Upper Dwyer Hill Road to the Carp River (North of Richardson Side Road).

The program will run from June 9, 2014 (Monday –Saturday) until June 27, 2014.
During the assessment volunteers will work closely with experienced staff members to survey the creek. Wearing hip waders, a group will wade up the creek taking detailed measurements and site characteristics every 100m. Each group will consist of 2-3 volunteers and 1-2 staff members. The stream survey will run from 9am-3pm, which includes meeting at the site, training, putting equipment on, hiking to the creek and completing the survey. 
When: Monday – Saturday, 9am-3pm from June 9 – June 27
Where: Different meeting sites based on the day
Why: To engage individuals of the local community while at the same time collecting valuable monitoring data which can be used to create restoration plans.
The schedule is based on what days volunteers are available.  This program offers excellent hands-on and educational experience while at the same time giving you a chance to meet new people and give back to nature!
Please contact Alyssa Boivin (613-253-0006, ext 267, if you are interested in participating.  Include the following information:

  • Date (s) of availability
  • Shoe size (for hip waders)
  • Phone number

14 March 2014 - Buy a Rain Barrel to Support the Carp River

The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) is selling rain barrels to raise funds to support their Stream Watch programs.   $10 from the purchase of each rain barrel will help the MVCA meet their water monitoring goals in the Carp River and Mississippi River watersheds.

Rain barrels capture and store rainwater collected from roofs through downspouts. They provide chlorine-free and fluoride-free water that is ideal for flowers, vegetables, lawns, shrubs and trees.  It will save you money and help you conserve this precious resource.

Pre-Order your rain barrel online at or call Alyssa at 613.253.0006 ext. 267.  Pick up is on Saturday, 26 April in Carleton Place or Kinburn.  Each base model rain barrel costs $55.  For details, see

Volunteers will be needed at the pick-up points to help with loading the barrels.  Contact Suzanne Mcfarlane at 613.253.0006 ext. 225 if you’d like to help.

4 March 2014 – Carp River Action Plan – Tree Removal


The Friends and members of the West Carleton Snow Mobile Club cleared downed trees and branches behind the Diefenbunker and near Craig Side Road to improve canoe and kayak passage.

Only debris above the water line was removed in order not to disturb fish habitat.

Blockage Removal

Thank you to Mike Asquini and Peter Giles of the West Carleton Snow Mobile Club

We also cleared some trees near the village of Kinburn.



9 December 2013 – Carp River Action Plan Update – Barrier Removal

IMG_2015 lo resThe Mississippi Valley Conservation  Authority (MVCA) has completed removal of three barriers across the Carp River at two sites just downstream from the Village of Carp.  The project is in partnership with the City of Ottawa, the Friends of the Carp River (FCR), shoreline landowners, and with funding from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). A tree jam was opened up and two abandoned farm crossings were removed as they can cause high flow velocities making it difficult for fish to migrate upstream to spring breeding grounds.  The structures can also cause ice jams creating flooding and erosion problems as the water creates a new path downstream. Now that the structures are removed, approximately 150 m of shoreline will be planted with local native trees and shrubs helping to restore the banks from historical cattle access and the disturbance caused when removing the bridge structures. This restoration is just one of the projects that the MVCA and the FCR plan complete over the next few years along the Carp River and its tributaries. If you are a shoreline resident and interested in participating in these stewardship activities, MVCA staff can help get you started. These projects are important to the quality of the Carp River; funds are available to provide advice, materials, and labour for your shoreline project. If you have any questions about the rehabilitation or want more information about private landowner projects, contact Kelly at the MVCA office 613-253-0006 or

30 October 2013 – Carp River Action Plan Update

The Carp River Action Plan has MVCA staff busy lining up projects along the river with the help of the Friends of the Carp River and local landowners. Barrier removal was one of four main actions in the Plan. The MVCA will start work on some barrier removal downstream of the Village of Carp this December. These barriers were identified in the 2012 Carp River Assessment. School groups and community organizations are also on board to help complete shoreline rehabilitation projects along the river. Watch the MVCA web site for the macro stream assessment reports for Poole Creek and the Upper Carp River watersheds online in December. We’ll provide a link to them.

2 July to 11 July 2013 – Stream Assessment, Upper Carp River & Poole Creek

StreamAssessmentVolunteerThe Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority is running a macro stream assessment on the Upper Carp River in the Glen Cairn area and Poole Creek in Stittsville during the days and evenings between July 2nd until July 11th.  For this assessment volunteers, along with a member of MVCA staff, wearing waders will work their way along the water course and take detailed measurements every 50 and 100 meters. Each group will be made up of 2-3 volunteers and one staff member.

The Upper Carp River runs from NCC land (Old Quarry Trail, P5) at Eagleson Road near Hazeldean through Glen Cairn, emptying at Terry Fox Drive near Castlefrank.

26 May 2013 – Volunteer for Check Your Watershed Day on 9 June

Mississippi Valley Conservation is gearing up for some volunteer activities along the Carp River  this summer.  First event:  Check Your Watershed Day June 9.  All you need to do is walk a section of the river and collect data or, if you have transportation, drive to selected sites along the streams to capture the data.   MVC staff will lead you through the process.  You’ll record water temperatures, take photos at culvert and bridge crossings, and make note of clean-up sites.  This snap-shot of the watershed conditions helps MVC identify areas where conditions are not ideal and work toward fixing them.

Kinburn and Stittsville locations.  Sunday, 9 June, noon until 4pm.  Register on-line here or contact Tara

13 May 2013 – Summer Student for the Carp River Watershed Returns!

Tara’s back!  She’s Mississippi Valley Conservation’s incredibly enthusiastic summer student organizing the volunteer monitoring and stewardship events in the Carp River watershed.  Great to have you back Tara!  If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please email Tara at

6 May 2013 – How you can help the Carp River Action Plan receive $50,000

The Carp River is on course to receive up to $50,000 to support stewardship activities through the Shell Fuelling Change program – but we need your vote!

The Shell Fuelling Change grant is vote dependent with voting starting in May (now) and ending October 31 2013.  Supporters can vote online via website, social media and when they buy gas or products at Shell stations.

Eligible projects need to collect the most votes in order to receive their requested amount.  The Carp River Action Plan is listed on   Here’s how you can vote:

  1. Buy gas or products at any Shell station so that you can redeem codes for votes.
  2. Browse the projects online and find the Carp River Action Plan under the Water category or go directly to this link:  Carp River Fuelling,
  3. Vote for the Carp River Action Plan.

You can also add votes by choosing your “Favourite” projects; subscribing to project updates; telling your friends on Facebook; and tweeting your votes.  All of this garners more votes for you to assign to the project of your choice.

For more information about this project and our partners contact Suzanne McFarlane, MVC Community Relations Coordinator at 613.259.2421 or

April 2013 – Carp River Watershed Water Level and Rainfall Monitoring Recommences

Volunteers with Friends of the Carp River, in support of Mississippi Valley Conservation, are recommencing measurements of water levels and rainfall up and down the length of the Carp River watershed.  Last summer the MVC installed water level gauges at various points along the river to build a record that correlates rainfall with the level of the river as it flows 42km from Kanata through West Carleton into the Ottawa River.  See the link to the Carp River Monitoring Program for more details.

31 March 2013 – Carp River Annual Spring Flood

Flooding of the Carp River at the entrance to the village of Carp, spring 2013

Flooding of the Carp River at the entrance to the village of Carp, spring 2013







Friday, 19 October 2012 – Fitzroy Harbour Tree Planting

The Friends of the Carp River have been working with the City of Ottawa to organize the planting of native trees and shrubs along the Carp River at Fitzroy Harbour.  On Friday, October 19, Grade 7 and 8 students from St. Michael’s in Fitzroy Harbour will be participating in this tree planting event, which is a final step that will stabilize the riverbank at the Community Centre to avoid further erosion behind the ball diamond. The event is taking place from 9:30am-noon at the Fitzroy Harbour Community Centre (184 Carleton St.).

Saturday, 8 September 2012 – River Day at the Carp Farmer’s Market

The Friends of the Carp River and the Ottawa Riverkeeper will be sharing a booth at the Carp Farmer’s Market.  We will have information available on a variety of programs for landowners and people interested in volunteering :

  • The Carp River Monitoring Program
  • The Carp River Green Banks Program
  • The Ottawa Rural Clean Water Program

Saturday, 29 July 2012 – Check Your Watershed Day : Volunteers Needed!

Mississippi Valley Conservation, The Friends of The Carp River, and The Kanata Haven Youth Center are looking for 50 volunteers to help create a “snap-shot” of the Carp River sub-watershed. This Check Your Watershed Day is a half-day event where you can get your feet wet and learn first-hand about the Carp River watershed. This event is great for families, friends, and anyone looking for hands on experience in the environmental field.

Teams or individuals are needed to help check the condition of the river. Volunteers will check the temperature of small streams feeding the Carp River at road crossings, take photos of each site they visit and make notes on its general condition. This information will help to build a better understanding of the health of the water in the watershed at a single point in time.  It will also help to inform stewardship activities and management of the watershed.

Volunteers will receive maps and any equipment needed.

What happens on Check Your Watershed Day?

  • Volunteers meet at 1:00pm at Dick Brule Community Centre (170 Castlefrank Rd, Kanata) to receive training and equipment
  • Teams will head to their assigned sites (approximately 4 to 6) to take temperature readings and photos.
  • All sites are located at road crossings.  The team may need the use of a personal vehicle to access sites.  Mileage will not be covered.
  • Teams (or an individual on the team) will return data sheets and equipment to Dick Brule Community Centre (170 Castlefrank Rd, Kanata)
  • Teams can expect to be finished before 4:00pm

To register or for more information, email Space is limited so please register by July 26th stating whether you are an individual or registering a group and whether you prefer to survey an urban or rural section of the river.

High school students can use this event for Community Service Hours but those under 18 years must accompanied by an adult.

31 May 2012 - Carp River Watershed Monitoring Assistant Hired

Mississippi Valley Conservation (MVC) has hired Tara Monaghan as a monitoring assistant for the Carp River watershed.  Tara is working towards a degree in Geography and a diploma in Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation.

Tara will be working closely with the Friends of the Carp River to assess the viability of community-based monitoring in the watershed.  Her primary goal is to develop a network of volunteers interested in helping on a regular basis or who can participate in occasional events like Check Your Watershed Day.

A group of Stittsville residents has already started monitoring water levels in the Poole Creek Wetland, one of the Carp River’s tributaries where very low water levels were recorded last year).  These volunteers are also collecting rainfall data using gauges supplied by MVC.  Heavy rainfall has occurred frequently in recent years and MVC is looking for more people willing to install and monitor a rain gauge.

If you would like to help out, get in touch with Tara through the Friends of the Carp River

Tara is also looking for landowners who would like information on grants available through the Carp River Green Banks shoreline restoration program to plant trees along the Carp River or its tributaries.

11 May 2012 – Summer Student Needed 

Mississippi Valley Conservation in partnership with Friends of the Carp River is accepting applications for a summer student position to assist with the implementation of environmental monitoring programs.  Much of the work will focus on community-based pilot projects in the Carp River Watershed.  A detailed job description is available:  Monitoring Assistant Job Description in PDF

This full-time position is intended for a student in the field of environmental studies such as biology and water management, ecosystem management, geography or a similar course of study.  Location: Mississippi Valley Conservation office, 4175 Hwy 511, Lanark.  Duration: May 28 to September 8.  Pay: $10.75 per hour.

Please send your resume with an email summarizing your experience and interests to Alyson Symon, ( no later than 6 p.m. May 21, 2012.  Interviews will be conducted May 24 to 25.

2 May 2012 – Exploratory Canoe Trip Down the Carp River

The Friends of the Carp River, along with staff of Mississippi Valley Conservation, led an exploration of the river by canoe/kayak from Richardson Side Road to Craig Side Road.  The objective of the trip was to view the riparian status of this critical section of the river first hand in preparation for a study this summer.

In the lead kayaks are Suzanne McFarlane, Brian Anderson, and Matt Craig of the MVC and behind them are Mary Porritt and Linda McCormick of the Friends.  The paddlers have just emerged from the under the March Road bridge and are headed north towards the village.

Click the picture to view the video.

 Three ecosystems were noted during the journey:

  1. a critical suburban section in Kanata from Hazeldean to Huntmar, which is under pressure from new development,
  2. rural areas with eroded banks and poor vegetation cover, and
  3. natural rural areas with meanders, tree cover, and a more healthy, riparian ecosystem.


22 April 2012 – Upper Poole Creek Wetland Monitoring Information Session

Mississippi Valley Conservation  is holding a public meeting re. monitoring of the Upper Poole Creek Wetland portion of the Provincially Significant Goulbourn Wetlands Complex and the upper part of Poole Creek, including its headwaters.

WHERE: Goulbourn Municipal Hall (former council chambers) at 2135 Huntley Road, Stittsville

WHEN: Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Presentations will begin at 11:15 a.m.

MVC staff will discuss the wetland monitoring plan and volunteer responsibilities, providing the direction and tools needed to begin the monitoring process.  They will also introduce other environmentally based volunteer programs that may be of interest.

The Friends of the Carp River will be on hand to raise awareness about its organization and talk about volunteer opportunities.  MVC Education Coordinator Sarah O’Grady along with Cliff Bennett of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists will discuss wildlife monitoring programs available in the area.  Residents interested in landowner stewardship programs offered by MVC, such as tree planting and shoreline rehabilitation, are also encouraged to attend.

RSVPs are appreciated and drop-ins are welcome. A light lunch will be provided.

For more information please contact Suzanne McFarlane, MVC Community Relations Coordinator 613.259.2421 ext. 225 or


Library Open House, March 2012

We would like to thank Lori Fielding, Supervising Librarian, and her staff at the Carp Branch of the Public Library for hosting our Carp River Remediation Project display panels and open house from 19 through 24 March.

We would also like to thank Ward 5 Councillor Eli El-Chantiry and his assistant, Sylvia Bell, for  accepting our invitation and spending an hour on Saturday discussing the project with us and meeting library patrons.

Councillor El-Chantiry, Janet Mason of the Friends, and Al Jones (Board Member, MVC)


Friends of the Carp River Information Display

at the Public Library, Carp Branch, 3911 Carp Road

19 March through 24 March 

The Friends of the Carp River will have an information display at the Carp Branch of the Public Library from Monday, 19 March through Saturday, 24 March.

The information display will describe the proposed Carp River Remediation Project, which is a rehabilitation of the Carp River from March Road to Carp Road from its degraded state to a healthy riparian ecosystem.

The information display will be staffed by members of the Friends on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and on Saturday between 10AM and noon, and between 1pm and 3pm.

The Friends are seeking feedback and support from the community, which includes local citizens and landowners, multiple levels of government, various agencies and organizations, and local businesses.

People are encouraged to learn about the project and to provide feedback.  Offers to volunteer with the Friends of the Carp River are also appreciated.

Information about the project is available at the link at the right or a summary can be downloaded in PDF format.

Please direct queries to