Impressions- Bissett Creek

This 1676-ha waterway park protects Waterloo Lake Uplands Area of Natural and Scientific Interest and an ecological link to Algonquin Park. The area offers a variety of recreational opportunities including an Algonquin Park canoe route that connects to the Ottawa River.

The area studied by Korol (2002) includes Big Bissett and Waterloo Lakes, which both drain into Bissett Creek, which in turn empties into the Ottawa River. The Bissett area was proposed as a provincial park in 1999 to help reach Ontario's Living Legacy targets and to protect the area's landform, recreational, vegetation and wildlife resources. The park is included in the Ontario Living Legacy's initiative to protect the ecological link between Algonquin and the Ottawa River [Korol, 2002].

At least 266 species of vascular plants were found in the study area. The forests support 11 species of gymnosperms and 12 species of deciduous trees. Eastern White and Red Pine were the most frequently observed conifers and Jack Pine and Eastern White Cedar were uncommon. Eastern Hemlock is extremely rare in the park. The most common deciduous trees were White Birch and Red Maple. White Elm and Yellow Birch were seldom observed and Hop Hornbeam and Balsam Poplar are very rare. Of the 39 species of deciduous shrubs, Beaked Hazel, Speckled Alder and Sweet Gale were the most abundant. Ericaceous shrubs were well represented with 14 species. Eighteen species of ferns, 10 species of other pteridophytes, 19 species of grasses, 94 species of dicotolydenous and 49 species of monocotyledenous herbs complete the list. Only 16 species of non-native plants were identified [Korol, 2002].

The study area includes three medium sized lakes, two of which drain into Bissett Creek, that in turn empties into the Ottawa River. Mature, Pine and Spruce-dominated conifer forests, with a scattering of intolerant hardwood and mixed stands flank the waterways [Korol, 2002].