Ausable River (Ontario)

Ausable River (Ontario)

The Ausable River is a river in southwestern Ontario Canada which empties into Lake Huron at Port Franks, Ontario. The Ausable's initial source is in a moraine near the community of Staffa, Ontario located in the municipality of West Perth, Ontario at a point 328 meters (1075 ft) above sea level. Although the river has a total measured length of over 240 kilometers (150 miles), because of its meandering course, the mouth in actuality is only 64 kilometers (40 miles) from its source near Staffa. The Ausable drains 1142 square kilometers (665 square miles) of land, and falls 152 meters (500 ft) in elevation from source to outlet.

In 1875, engineers of the Canada Company engaged in a large scale drainage project, referred to locally as "The Cut", which altered the course of the river dramatically and permitted the draining of several local small lakes and wetlands for agricultural purposes. Before that time the Ausable passed through the village of Grand Bend, where it made an abrupt curve toward the south, paralleling the Lake Huron shoreline for several miles, before entering the lake at Port Franks. This abrupt "bend" in the course of the river, is the origin of the name of the community of Grand Bend. The former course of the river, sections of which almost completely dry up during the summer season, can still be seen in Pinery Provincial Park. It is referred to as the Old Ausable Channel.

The river provides habitat for several endangered freshwater mussel species, several threatened or endangered fish species and the threatened Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle.

The formation of the Ausable Gorge by the river near Arkona has exposed fossils from the Middle Devonian period. At one time, a hydroelectric plant was located at nearby Rock Glen Falls.

This river was called Riviere aux Sables or "sandy river" by the French which through time became the Aux Sables River in English. The name was condensed to Ausable in the early 20th century.

ee also

* Aux Sables River
* Little AuSable River

External links

* [ Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority]


cite book
last = Fox
first = William Sherwood
title = 'T aint runnin' no more: the story of Grand Bend, the Pinery and the old river bed.
publisher =
date = 1946

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