Tuesday, August 2, 2011
CASSON AND THE CONROY MARSH - PART 3
After playing leapfrog with the Beaver for a few more minutes, we continued paddling westward, exploring the marsh areas to the north of the main channel. The water level of the Marsh is controlled by the Palmer Rapids control dam, which is one of a series of several dams on the Madawaska river that are situated and operated to control water levels for the 'large' hydroelectric dam at Arnprior on the Madawaska, near its outlet into the Ottawa River.
The Marsh level, based on some reading, is roughly four feet higher than prior to the installation of the control dam, and must have altered the habitat and ecosystems of the Marsh to a degree. Currently, the marsh has a river channel that varies between 100 and 300 feet wide or more, which is quite deep, upwards of 10 to 20 feet in most places. The rest of the marsh appears to be made up of two different ecosystems: Flooded shallow lake areas, with a water depth between one and four feet deep, thick with water lillies and other fully aquatic plants; and fully saturated areas with ground that rises slightly above the water level, completely covered in wet loving grasses and sedges.
Looking south west into the Conroy Marsh. About two miles ahead, past the near hill on the left, is the entry of the Little Mississippi River. The York River opens into the marsh about five miles directly ahead.
Looking to the west now, and Craigmont Hill. We are paddling in the shallow flooded areas, which are populated with lilies and other aquatic plants. Directly ahead are grasses that stand at water level or therabouts, I imagine it could be possible to walk through them, if you enjoy being knee deep in muck.
Looking west still, and now we are on the extreme south shore of the Marsh, in the main river channel. The small spot on the hill ahead is likely the opening of the shaft of the Craigmont Mine.