The Nipissis River is the main tributary of the mighty Moisie. Its name in the Innu language means “covered with water lilies” or “small stream”. This 400 square kilometer watershed flows into the Moisie River near the McDonald Falls, after winding about 150 kilometers down a deep valley. The Nipissis is surrounded by huge cliffs rising more than 200 meters above the shoreline, which attract many ice climbing enthusiasts in winter.
The Nipissis River is quite smaller than the Moisie, but salmon can potentially travel all the way up to the Tongas Falls, located about 65 kilometers from their confluence. The McDonald Falls, on the other hand, are not an insurmountable obstacle for the spirited salmon returning to their spawning grounds. Nevertheless, a fishway was constructed at the McDonald Falls in 1975 to facilitate and enhance fish migration, providing a 50% increase to the size of their habitat.
In 2019, the Uashat mak Mani-Utemam Band Council officially acquired the Moisie-Nipissis Outfitter, located at the confluence of the two rivers. Anglers can fish on a 36 km section of the Moisie and a 4 km stretch of the Nipissis River, including the Endicott and Chutes pools—there are 16 pools fished by the outfitter on the two rivers in total. In this idyllic setting where respect for nature is deeply rooted in ancestral traditions, catch and release of salmon is mandatory.