Stream Watch

Stream WatchBackground

South Nation Conservation (SNC) is a part of the City Stream Watch Collaborative formed in 2014 that samples streams within the City of Ottawa. The Collaborative consists of dedicated environmental organizations within the City of Ottawa, Conservation Authorities, and other interested groups. Overall, the goals of the City Stream Watch Collaborative are to:

  • Provide consistent data collection, data management and reporting of urban and rural stream health across the City of Ottawa;
  • Target restoration initiatives and landowner stewardship actions based on monitoring results.

The program consists of SNC staff and volunteers walking the entire length of a stream and assessing stream health at predetermined intervals. Water chemistry, stream morphology, wildlife, and fish observations are all recorded and many photos are taken of the stream. SNC uses the data obtained to create summary reports that outline where restoration work is needed within the stream. These recommendations are then put into action through restoration projects with the hope of improving stream health and water quality.

The City Stream Watch program uses and encourages the incorporation of volunteers into all aspects of the monitoring program. For instance, volunteers are needed to take water quality measurements, take measurements of the sizes of streams, and to record data. Also, volunteers assist with restoration projects to improve stream health by planting trees, picking up garbage in-stream, and helping restore stream banks that are eroding. 

City Stream Watch - 2018

In 2018, SNC sampled Shield's Creek and Findlay Creek. You can find the final report here.

City Stream Watch - 2017 

In 2017, SNC will be monitoring the Bear Brook River. This river's headwaters begin south of Mer Bleu, on the east side of the City of Ottawa. It then flows east across an agriculture landscape, eventually entering the South Nation River near Ettyville. A final report at the end of the year will provide information on the health of the river. You can find the final report here.

City Stream Watch - 2016

In 2016, SNC sampled McKinnon’s Creek near Navan. This stream flows through wetland areas, urbanized residential areas, forested areas, and finally an agricultural landscape. A final report summarizing the health of the stream is available here. 

City Stream Watch - 2015

In 2015, SNC sampled 12.4 kilometers of the North Castor River near Russell. Over 1000 trees were planted, many interesting species of fish were found and invasive species were targeted within the watershed. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out with City Stream Watch in 2015!  View our Technical Report page for the year-end report.


If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with the City Stream Watch Collaborative, we encourage you to sign up for our mailing list at or contact Kelsey Smith at