The Hutton Creek Wetland is part of 5660 acre provincially significant wetland complex located in Elizabethtown-Kitley Twp. about 5 km south of the Village of Lombardy. The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) owns the dam at Motts Mills. LGSC has partnered with RVCA and Ducks Unlimited to replace the old dam and restore the wetland’s diversity. The Council members involved in this project include Dwayne Struthers, Shaun Thompson and Kerry Coleman.
In order to facilitate the construction of the new dam RVCA secured ownership of the entire dam as well as well as the property immediately downstream from the dam.
After several years of delays construction finally began on replacing the Motts Mills dam in August of 2015. The dam was replaced with an earthen berm water structure. The berm was installed just upstream from the old dam. It is made of rock and clay and has two steel inlet chambers to adjust or hold water levels. Ducks Unlimited, who has vast experience and knowledge in designing and building these structures for wetland purposes, oversaw the construction. The South Kanata Development Corporation voluntarily chose to make a $250,000 contribution to the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation to jumpstart the dam replacement and wetland restoration.
Since the construction of the old dam in 1952, the Motts Mills Dam has played an important role in maintaining an artificially controlled water level on about 300 hectares of the Hutton Marsh. The provincially significant wetland has been well known in the past as excellent waterfowl habitat as well as important habitat for a diversity of other species. Over time, the amount of open water area in the wetland has diminished along with the diversity of plants, habitat and wildlife. There has been ongoing interest in developing a plan to restore the wetland.
Now that the new dam is in place plans and approvals for a drawdown have been finalized, funding opportunities are being explored and hopefully work will start this summer to create more open water habitat in the wetland.
Dwayne, Shaun and Kerry also conducted a Marsh Monitoring on the Hutton Creek Wetland Complex in the spring of 2016, focusing on amphibians. The program is designed to collect information about the presence and abundance of bird and amphibian species in Great Lakes coastal and inland marshes. It will be interesting to compare the results of the survey to the survey results after the wetland has been fully restored.