The Magpie River

The Magpie River is one of the largest rivers in Côte-Nord. It is rich in wild and imposing landscapes and owes its international reputation to its great potential for recreational white water tourism.

Ranked among the top ten white water rivers in the world according to National Geographic, the Magpie is a veritable playground for thrill seekers. It is one of the last great untamed rivers of Québec. It is located in the Nitassinan (ancestral land) of the Innu Nation. 

Keep the Magpie pristine

SNAP Québec is spearheading a major campaign to prevent the Magpie River from being subjected to hydroelectric development. Together with the Association Eaux-vives Minganie, SNAP Québec commissioned a study (in French only) by LERPA (Laboratoire d’expertise et de recherche en plein air) of the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. This study emphasizes the white water potential of the Magpie by comparing it to famous waterways such as the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, among others. The study was made public and presented to local decisionmakers.

Thanks to the support of our partners as well as that of like-minded people, we circulate a petition that garnered thousands of signatures. We also presented our campaign at the White Water Festival in Maniwaki, where we saw firsthand how attached paddlers are to this Québec river.

This is why we continue to ask:

  • that the Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles rules out any possibility of a hydroelectric project on this major white water river, and
  • that the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les Changements Climatiques makes the protection of the biodiversity reserve planned since 2003 permanent, while extending it to include the unprotected stretches of the Magpie.

Why protect the Magpie?

The stretch of the Magpie River south of the planned biodiversity reserve has potential for hydroelectric development that Hydro Québec would like to harness on both a short and medium term basis. However, given both the natural features and the potential for recreational tourism of this site, the BAPE (Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement) has recommended that this stretch of the Magpie River be permanently protected.

In addition, in order to fully protect this exceptional river, the western stretch of the Magpie River should be included in the proposed protected area. This area also includes the most easterly Jack pine forests in Québec.




Some pictures of the Magpie river:

Created with flickr slideshow.





  • View more related news releases
  • Take action

    The Magpie River: Beautiful from one end to the other
    Ranked among the 10 best rivers in the world for white water activities, the Magpie is a playground for thrill seekers, as well as being home to rich and unspoiled ecosystems on the Côte-Nord. Ask the Government of Québec to make it a protected area!
    Take action