World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ashuapmushuan River

Article Id: WHEBN0000242087
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ashuapmushuan River  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Saint-Thomas-Didyme, Quebec, Quebec, Landforms of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Rivers of Quebec, Saint-Félicien, Quebec
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ashuapmushuan River

Ashuapmushuan River
Michel Falls at Saint-Félicien
Country Canada
Province Quebec
Region Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
Source Lake Ashuapmushuan
 - location Lac-Ashuapmushuan Unorg. Terr.
 - elevation 360 m (1,181 ft)
 - coordinates
Mouth Lac Saint-Jean
 - location Pointe-Saint-Méthode (Saint-Félicien)
 - elevation 100 m (328 ft)
 - coordinates
Length 181 km (112 mi) [1]
Basin 15,746 km2 (6,080 sq mi) [1]
Discharge for Chute aux Saumons
 - average 298 m3/s (10,524 cu ft/s) [2]
 - max 1,050 m3/s (37,080 cu ft/s) May
 - min 75 m3/s (2,649 cu ft/s) March
Sunset over the Ashuapmushuan River at Saint-Félicien

The Ashuapmushuan River is a river in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region of the Canadian provinces of Quebec. It starts at the outlet of Lake Ashuapmushuan, and flows first in a north-easterly direction for about 30 kilometres (19 mi) whereafter it continues south-east to Saint-Félicien. There it drains into Lake Saint-Jean of which it is the third largest tributary after the Peribonka and Mistassini Rivers. The river is 181 kilometres (112 mi) long but its source is 266 kilometres (165 mi) from its mouth.[3]

Typical median summer flow is between 200 and 300 cubic metres per second (7,100 and 10,600 cu ft/s), whereas during spring run-off, the median flow is 1,050 cubic metres per second (37,000 cu ft/s), but the river could swell anywhere from 400 to 2,400 cubic metres per second (14,000 to 85,000 cu ft/s). Lowest flow conditions occur in March with a median flow of 75 cubic metres per second (2,600 cu ft/s) and a minimum of 54 cubic metres per second (1,900 cu ft/s) to a maximum of 120 cubic metres per second (4,200 cu ft/s).[2]

The Ashuapmushuan River forms the northern boundary of the Ashuapmushuan Wildlife Reserve for most of its length. As a wild undeveloped river, and accessible from Quebec Route 167 close to Lake Ashuapmushuan, it is a popular destination for canoe camping.

A new 276.6-square-kilometre (106.8 sq mi) aquatic reserve is being considered that would protect 126 kilometres (78 mi) of the Ashuapmushuan River, including its floodplain and valley slopes. The reserve prohibits logging, mining, and hydro-electric development, while protecting critical landlocked salmon habitats, biodiversity, and sites of archaeological interest.[1]


  • Etymology 1
  • Geography 2
    • Tributaries 2.1
  • History 3
  • Fauna 4
  • References 5


The name Ashuapmushuan, which was not officially adopted until 1982, is an Innu word meaning "place where one lies in wait for moose".[4]

The river was however first called Necouba by Louis Jolliet in 1679. This name was also used by Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin and Guillaume Delisle in 1686 and 1703 respectively. But in 1732 surveyor Normandin considered this an error, who referred to the Necoubeau as a tributary to Lake Ashuapmushuan that was called Lake Chomonchouane by Laure on his maps of 1731 and 1732. Therefore Normandin renamed the river to Chomontchouane. In 1917, the Commission de géographie officially adopted the modernized spelling of Chamouchouane.[4]


The Ashuapmushuan basin is part of the Central Laurentians in the natural region of the Lake Manouane Depression. The river is enclosed in narrow valleys for a large part of its course, with powerful rapids and a dozen waterfalls, of which the most impressive are the Chaudière Falls.[1]


The major tributaries of the Ashuapmushuan are (in upstream order):

  • Rivière au Doré
  • Pémonca River
  • Cran River
  • Vermillion River
    • Grand Portage River
  • Rivière du Chef
    • Crochue River
    • Nestaocano River
  • Hilarion River
  • Lake Ashuapmushuan
    • Normandin River
    • Marquette River


The Ashuapmushuan River Basin is home to several archaeological sites that show that indigenous people occupied the area for thousands of years. European explorers and missionaries came in the 17th century. For instance, Charles Albanel used the river for his voyage to Hudson Bay in 1672.[1][4]

In 1685, French fur traders set up a trading post on the eastern shore of Lake Ashuapmushuan that remained almost continuously in operation until the middle of the 19th century. It successively came under control of the Traite de Tadoussac (French period), King's Posts (English period), the North West Company (1802), and the Hudson's Bay Company (1821). During this period, the river became a major link in the fur trade route from Tadoussac to Hudson Bay since its source is just east of Lake Mistassini on the Rupert River. The vestiges of the post are considered some of the most valuable and best preserved relics from the era.[1][4]

After the fur trade, the Ashuapmushuan River was used by logging companies to drive logs downstream.[1]


The Ashuapmushuan River and its tributaries provide spawning grounds and habitats for landlocked salmon (Salmo salar ouananiche). Newly hatched salmon remain in the river for 2 to 4 years before migrating to Lake Saint-Jean where it remains for most of its adult life. Then, at age 4 to 8, it will return to the river to spawn. While the Ashuapmushuan River has significantly contributed to salmon production for the lake, the salmon population has seen a sharp decline in the 1990s. Despite conservation measures, its status remains of concern.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Environnement Québec - La réserve aquatique de la rivière Ashuapmushuan. Retrieved 2010-12-07
  2. ^ a b Centre d'expertise hydrique Québec - Débit à la station 061901
  3. ^ Natural Resources Canada, Atlas of Canada - Rivers
  4. ^ a b c d "Rivière Ashuapmushuan" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.