à Mars River
The à Mars River
Contact nature Rivière-à-Mars is a nonprofit organization that manages fishing on the À Mars River and operates a fish ladder with an observatory and an Atlantic salmon and sea trout interpretation site. The river is a great learning river for novice fly fishers because it has a number of small pools with plenty of room for backcasts. The success rate is comparable to some of Quebec’s higher quality rivers. The presence of sea trout makes fishing all the more enjoyable.
- 95 km, of which 27 km are open to fishing
- Sectors and pools
- 92 pools for salmon or sea trout fishing in limited-access and open-access sectors
- Type of fishing allowed
- Salmon and/or sea trout, wade fishing
- Salmon fishing season
- June 1 to September 15
- Daily salmon catch limit per angler
- 2 small salmon under 63 centimetres and 3 sea trout
Contact Nature Rivière-à-Mars
- 3232 chemin Saint-Louis La Baie (Québec) G7B 4M8
- (418) 697-5093
- (418) 697-5094
Salmon Fishing on the À Mars River
From its southern headwaters over 800 metres above sea level in the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve, the À Mars River tumbles and plunges to the northwest, flowing through the community of La Baie before ending its 95 kilometre journey in Ha Ha Bay on the Saguenay Fjord. The river offers a multitude of pools for fishing salmon and sea trout (anadromous brook trout from the Saguenay). The 7 kilometres of the river that are most easily accessible are open to wade fishing.
Between 1894 and 1935, the Price Brothers company operated a private fishing club on the À Mars. A dam built in 1930 made log driving possible on the river, but also created a barrier for migrating salmon. Log driving ceased in 1952. Several decades later, after extensive salmon stocking and enhancement work, including a fish ladder, Association des pêcheurs sportifs de la rivière à Mars was created in 1983, and fishing reopened in 1992. In 1996, the Saguenay flood destroyed the river infrastructure, which required further work, including construction of a new fish ladder.
The river recovered from the flood relatively well and has annual runs of 200 to 500 salmon, including some as big as 13 kilos. The waters of the À Mars are cool and lightly tea coloured. Six sectors are open to salmon fishing, 3 of which are limited-access. Visitors can also enjoy an interpretive trail on salmon and sea trout as well as an underwater observation window at the fish ladder.
- Annual statistics are provided by the Government of Quebec.