The Severn River Watershed

Severn River Watershed, Six Mile River, Glucester Pool, Sparrow Lake, Lake Simcoe, Canal Lake, Mitchell Lake

Severn River Watershed, Six Mile River, Glucester Pool, Sparrow Lake, Lake Simcoe, Canal Lake, Mitchell Lake

The Severn River watershed:  lies immediately west of the Trent River basin, and drains west to Georgian Bay.  This 6,160 square kilometer drainage area has three major components:

  1. The Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching Basin including the Talbot River.
  2. The Black River watershed that feeds into the Severn River downstream of Lake Couchiching.
  3. The lakes and channels of the Severn River below Washago including Sparrow Lake, Six Mile Lake and Gloucester Pool.

Most of the drainage area for the Lake Simcoe- Couchiching basin is in rolling farmland and deeper soils characteristic of the southern area.  As a result, water run-off is slow and evaporation losses from both land and lake surfaces are high.

The Black River watershed, located in the thin soils and rock of the Precambrian Shield is virtually unregulated and produces rapid run-off of precipitation while evaporation losses are lower.  Consequently, even though the watershed is less than half the area of the Simcoe-Couchiching basin, its long-term average flow is comparable.

The Black River also has high peak flows during the spring.  Both the Black River and the Severn River are constrained by numerous constrictions, which are prone to increased water levels in the river and upstream flooding during high flows.  The Black River remains the main cause of flooding on the Severn River because of the potential to generate extremely high water levels.

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