Click here! Mohr Island

Dropping Anchor at Mohr Island.
Mohr Island is just around the corner from Buckham's Bay. It is regarded by many as the premier anchorage on this body of water. It offers good protection from the prevailing winds (from the west to northwest) and it has a muddy bottom which makes for easy anchoring. The island is strategically located towards the western end of this part of the river and its anchorage can accommodate a dozen or more boats.

The anchorage is located in a small bay on the east side of Mohr Island. While there is usually plenty of room on weekdays, it can become fairly crowded at the end of the day on busy weekends. However, when the forecast calls for a relatively light breeze from the direction of the prevailing winds, a good number of boats can be found anchoring out a considerable distance from the actual bay at Mohr Island.

Part of the chart showing Mohr Island.
Mohr Island appears to have a lot of growth and few clearings or foot paths, and by Ottawa River standards, it is a fairly large island. In fact, it is actually two islands - it is divided by a shallow creek which flows into the U-shaped bay.

It is also important to know that Mohr Island can become very crowded with mosquitoes shortly after sunset. There are few signs of them during the day, but the minute the sun goes down, insect screens take on a whole new importance. Some sailors have theorized that Mohr Island is the breeding ground for half the mosquitoes of North America.

There is a long history to Mohr Island's reputation as a safe and convenient spot to overnight. Records indicate that Samuel de Champlain spent a night on the island while exploring the Ottawa
Off Mohr Island - at dawn.
These boats are anchored in the
area just east of the bay.
River during his search for the Northwest Passage. Despite the mosquitoes, Champlain described it as a "very pleasant island". Royalists among us may be interested to know that, when he was Prince of Wales, King Edward VII visited a trading post at Crown Point, just south of Mohr Island on the Ontario side of the river.

An empty anchorage - looking into the bay at Mohr Island.

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Text and photos by Michael McGoldrick.
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