Stretching some 70 kilometers, the Patapedia River flows out of both Lake Superior and Lake Chasseur, and winds through the mountains along the southwestern edge of the Matapedia River valley plateaus. The Patapedia River runs along a good part of the northwestern New Brunswick border before emptying into the Restigouche River, which in turn flows into the Baie des Chaleurs.
Patapedia means “river with uneven and unpredictable currents” in Mi’kmaq, and it has been used by First Nations people in the area for many years. The Patapedia pool, better known as the Million Dollar Pool, located at the fork of the Restigouche River, is famous for holding a tremendous amount of fish. Moreover, the water does indeed flow irregularly on the Patapedia, as water levels can rise or drop rather drastically.
Yet, the Patapedia River has an excellent reputation for salmon fishing. The river bed is mostly dark, but its waters remain clear and cold, providing a quality habitat for approximately 600 to 1,000 returning salmon each year. You can wade fish on the Patapedia, but canoes are usually used to get around the river’s 64 pools. The Patapedia has 3 sectors, all of which have limited access. While you may keep 1 large salmon from sector 3 if conservation objectives set by the Corporation de gestion des rivières Matapédia et Patapédia (CGRMP) are met, mandatory catch and release remains effective in sectors 1 and 2 throughout the season.
The untamed environment in which flows the Patapedia brings peace to those who fish it—anglers are at awe before the beautiful steep mountain scenery and, of course, the quality of the fishing. Interestingly enough, some 55 kilometers southeast of Causapscal, the Patapedia’s ecosystem is characterized by a rare concentration of red oaks.