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Réserve faunique Ashuapmushuan



In the past, the Montagnais travelled across the Chibougamau in search of fur pelts. The fur trade was very lucrative between the Aboriginal peoples to the north of James Bay and those to the south. Later, the Europeans took part. These tribes appreciated this territory for the quantity and quality of its furs. Many trading posts, called the King's Posts, were located along Lac Ashuapmushuan and by the shores of Lac Nicabau. Today, the vast 4,487-km² territory still has this unique livelihood as well as a wide range of wildlife and natural resources.

Did You Know That...

Réserve faunique Ashuapmushuan owes its name to a Montagnais word meaning "where one lies in wait for moose."

1671-1672 Father Charles Albanel traveled up Rivière Ashuapmushuan to James Bay. He passed Lac Mistassini on the way.

2003 Part of Rivière Ashuapmushuan was declared an aquatic reserve by the Québec government.


Chute de la Chaudière

These waterfalls are worth going out of your way for. The site owes its name (literally "Boiler Falls") to the many kettle-like potholes that erosion has sculpted out of the pink granite rock. From Route 167, take the cut-off at km 68 and follow the road for about fifteen kilometres. Short trails provide different points for viewing the falls. Bring your lunch. Do you love the outdoors and striking landscapes? You may spend the whole day here.

Rivière Ashuapmushuan

Rivière Ashuapmushuan has the largest breeding grounds for the landlocked salmon of Lac Saint-Jean. It's a sanctuary during most of the fishing season. This river also used to be one of the main fur routes and timber transport waterways linking Hudson Bay to Tadoussac.

Do You Know the Landlocked Salmon of Ashuapmushuan?

The Jesuit Father Jean Dequen was the first White man to discover the landlocked salmon. It belongs to the salmon family and is called scientifically Salmo salar ouananiche. Ouananiche means "see it's there the little fish" or "the little stray" and "gone astray from its milieu." This fish is believed to have entered Lac Saint-Jean when the Laflamme Sea was formed. It then acclimatized to its new surroundings.

The name ouananiche, in the Innu language, can also be translated as "the one who goes everywhere." Indeed, this salmon leaves the river where it was born at about 2 to 4 years of age for the waters of Lac Saint-Jean, which are richer in food. It lives there for most of its adulthood before returning at about 4 to 8 years of age to its home river to breed.

Fact Sheet


4,487 km2

Bodies of water

1,200 lakes
Several streams and rivers


  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Spruce Grouse


  • Speckled trout
  • Lake trout
  • Walleye
  • Northern pike
  • Whitefish


  • Moose
  • Black bear
  • Wolf 
  • Fox
  • Snowshoe hare
  • Lynx

Forest cover

  • Balsam fir - White birch
  • Ash
  • Maple       
  • Spruce
  • Aspen
  • Poplar

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