- 84, rue St-Germain Est, bureau 2080, Rimouski (Québec), G5L 1A6
- 418 722-3726
- Free Phone
- Length: 378 km
- Type of fishing allowed: Salmon fishing
Salmon fishing in the Natashquan River
For many anglers, the Natashquan is the grande dame of North Shore Atlantic salmon rivers. In the Montagnais language, its name means “a place where bears are hunted.” The river begins its journey near the dividing line between the Atlantic and the St. Lawrence drainage basins, draining 16,110 square kilometers of highlands. Fed along its course by the Mistanipisipou, East Natashquan, Le Doré and West Natashquan rivers, the Natashquan transports a massive volume of furious water toward the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where it empties just east (approximately 10 kilometers, or 6 miles) of the town of Natashquan.
Sports fishing on the river began as early as 1873 and was controlled by a succession of private clubs and outfitters during a period lasting over a century. In 1984, the Quebec government handed over control of the lower reaches (48 kilometers) of the river to the Natashquan Band Council, which created the outfitter Hipou to manage the fishing rights and provide public access to the sector of the river extending from kilometer 14 (mile 9) to kilometer 42 (mile 26). The lower 14 kilometers (9 miles), starting at Parent Point, are reserved for subsistence fishing. The outfitter has one camp located near the first falls and a second camp perched on a promontory overlooking the second falls. Both stretches feature series of rapids, small falls and rocky basins. The Natashquan is a very productive river, boasting average catch rates per angler that few other Quebec rivers can match. The average size of the salmon is smaller at about 3.15 kilos (7 pounds); however, salmon weighing up to 9 kilos (20 pounds) are frequently landed.
The Natashquan is a majestic river that salmon anglers just cannot pass up, as it provides the ideal setting for a highly productive fishing trip in scenery that will take your breath away. The sheer size of the river is also positively humbling.
- The annual statistics are provided by the Government of Quebec.