The Sainte-Marguerite flows for 100 kilometers down from Lake Sainte-Marguerite in the Monts Valin, where the river begins its course 678 meters above sea level. This relatively narrow river freely winds its way through a steep valley between the towns of Sacré-Coeur and Saguenay, first in a north-westerly direction, then south-westward for 15 kilometers prior to making another sharp turn to the south-east. It then runs along the Saguenay Fjord for 60 kilometers before emptying into the Sainte-Marguerite Bay.
The history of salmon sport fishing on the Sainte-Marguerite River began in 1860 when the first private fishing club was established; its assets now belong to the Corporation de pêche Sainte-Marguerite. The Sainte-Marguerite River was incorporated as a ZEC in 1980, whereupon the Association de la rivière Sainte-Marguerite took over management of the river, ending the Corporation’s purpose as the sole manager of the fishery. In 1995, the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur le saumon atlantique (Interuniversity Research Centre for Atlantic Salmon) was founded along the river.
There are three main branches that make up the Sainte-Marguerite River, and together they provide access to over 100 pools divided into 10 sectors (7 of which have limited access). There are only a few private pools on the river, owned either by the Corporation de pêche Sainte-Marguerite or local residents. Depending on which pool, both canoe and wade fishing take place on the Sainte-Marguerite. Route 172 conveniently follows along the river through sectors 1 to 4 for some 55 kilometers. You may decide to visit the river’s salmon observation facilities.
On top of its great salmon fishery, the Sainte-Marguerite River offers exceptional sea trout fishing opportunities as well.