The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority operates large reservoirs at Fanshawe, Pittock and Wildwood Conservation Areas. Daily and seasonal boat passes are available (click for fees) for the following activities:
(9.9 hp maximum)
Wildwood CAMotor boats
Pittock CAMotor boats
NO personal watercraft permitted.
Important InformationPlease note that Personal Watercraft are not permitted at any of these Conservation Areas at any time.
A boat pass does not guarantee access to the reservoirs for the entire season (May to October). Under certain conditions, restrictions may be applied to areas of these reservoirs to include “no wake” and “restricted access” zones. Remember that lake levels and resulting water depths can change. Use caution on the reservoir at all times to avoid physical hazards, and observe the boating restrictions that apply. Information on boating restrictions is available at the Conservation Areas’ gatehouses and posted by the boat launches.
How are the reservoirs managed?
Fanshawe, Wildwood and Pittock Reservoirs were designed to control downstream flooding and, in the case of Wildwood and Pittock, to increase summer stream flows. The reservoirs also provide a range of recreational opportunities enjoyed by thousands of people each year. However, the reservoirs cannot always be operated to satisfy both water management and recreational needs. Weather conditions often shift the balance between these two uses, usually to the disadvantage of recreation.Fanshawe Reservoir Map Wildwood Reservoir Map Pittock Reservoir Map
Fanshawe Dam, completed in 1952, was constructed mainly to help reduce flood damages in the City of London. Water flowing through the reservoir is also used to generate hydro electric power. Fanshawe reservoir is not lowered to supplement low flows in the Thames River.
From May to October, most fluctuations of the reservoir are minor and have little impact on recreational activities. Large amounts of rain in a short period of time, however, can alter the lake levels at any time during the season. For example, summer or fall thunderstorms may raise the water level by two metres or more. The reservoir may also be lowered to perform scheduled or unscheduled maintenance.
Wildwood & Pittock
Wildwood Dam, completed in 1965, and Pittock Dam, completed in 1967, were both built to assist in reducing flood damages in downstream communities and to improve flows. During dry summer and fall periods, water from these reservoirs is released to supplement stream flows downstream. This means that more water is released from the reservoirs than enters them, resulting in a steady drop in water levels from mid June to December. Thus, areas where boating is possible in the spring and early summer are no longer accessible in the late summer and fall due to lower water levels.
Water levels in both Wildwood and Pittock reservoirs can rise significantly when large amounts of rain fall during a short period.