South Thames Watershed
The South Thames watershed is a mainly agricultural watershed that covers 22410 ha (224 sq. km). It includes portions of the municipalities of South-West Oxford, Zorra, East Zorra-Tavistock, Ingersoll, Woodstock and Thames Centre. Watercourses include part of the South Thames River as well as the Dick-Telfer, Whitings, Halls, Henderson, WW Sutherland, Patterson & Robbins, Foster, Carr, Hendry, Golspie, Thornton, Huggins, Hart, Walker, Moon and Sally drains or creeks. There are five Provincially Significant Wetlands: Five Point Woods, Golspie Swamp, Foldens Swamp, Burgess Park Wetland, and Thames River Wetland.
The UTRCA, in partnership with the Town of Ingersoll, Oxford County Trails Council and Carmeuse, recently completed an erosion control and stream health project on Halls Creek in Ingersoll. The project goals were to stablize the streambank while enhancing and creating new fish habitat.
This site is very constrained. The stream grade is greater than 2%, with private property and buildings on the west shore of the creek, underground sewers and paved pathways on the east side, an off-line pond immediately upstream, and a concrete rectangular channel at the head of this reach that speeds up flows and was a barrier to fish. In recent years, the creek has progressively eroded the banks, risking damage to the Thomas Ingersoll Scenic Trail in Smith’s Pond Park and the adjacent properties.
Working within a budget and with no room to adjust the stream pattern, the preferred solution was to install rip rap along the creek’s banks to improve bank stability. Riffles and pools were created in the creek to enhance aquatic habitat, improve water quality and provide fish passage through the cool water system. In the fall, trees and shrubs will be planted and an attempt made to add live stakes of native shrubs in the stone, to soften the appearance and add more diversity.
The project will help improve public safety, protect the public trail, and reduce erosion along 100 m of the creek. It was funded by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, and the RBC Blue Water Community Fund.