Wilber Lake Wetland

by Ole Hendrickson and John Almstedt, May 28, 2012 and June 2, 2013

Wetlands provide food, shelter, breeding and resting places for an incredible number of species of plants, mammals, bird, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Wetlands provide the critical habitat that many such organisms need to survive.

Crooked Rapids Painted turtles, May 2012

Wilber Lake has approximately 10.9km of shoreline encircled by 3.35km2 of provincial designated wetland which in the below map includes the wetland (light green) and the 120m buffer zone (green line).

There are two ways to access the lake at P2 and P3.

Wetlands are important - they can improve water quality, reduce flooding and erosion, help recharge the water table and provide rich habitat for plants and animals. Wetland boundaries are can change over time, so their boundaries are determined where 50% of the plant community consists of upland plant species.

The Wilber Lake Wetland is comprised of marsh and swamps.

Swamps are the wooded areas that are often flooded for a portion of the year. The Wilber Lake wetlands are dominated by trees such as the above willows, dogwood and Silver Maple.

Marshes are wetlands that are periodically or permanently flooded with water and does not include trees. The Wilber Lake marsh vegetation typically consists of non-woody plants such as cattails, rushes, reeds, grasses, lilies and sedges.

Like all wetlands at this time of the year the area was teeming with bird species such as: yellow throat, yellow warblers, bitterns, mallards, Canada geese, grackels, swamp sparrows etc. Here a Red-Winged Blackbird keeps a wary eye on us.

Wilber Lake as part of a recreational water trail

Wilber Lake is part of a very enjoyable 14km recreational water trail from Golden Lake to Eganville. This paddle offers a variety of natural features as well as a variety of paddling experiences. The rapids in the Wilber Lake to Eganville section offers excitement in the higher waters of spring and early summer when rocks are of little concern.

The put-in is at the Ruby Rd bridge (P1) and the take-out at Eganville beach (T).