Moose River (Ontario)
Moose River as seen from the ONR railway bridge
|Source confluence||Mattagami and Missinaibi Rivers|
|- location||Unnamed wilderness of Unorg. Cochrane District|
|- location||17 km NE from Moosonee|
|Length||104 km (65 mi) |
|Basin||108,500 km2 (41,900 sq mi) |
|- average||1,370 m3/s (48,380 cu ft/s) |
The Moose River is a Canadian river in the Hudson Plains ecozone of northern Ontario which flows 100 km northeast from the junction of the Mattagami and Missinaibi Rivers into James Bay. Its drainage basin is 108,500 km² and it has a mean discharge rate of 1370 m³/s. Its full length is 547 kilometres (340 mi) if counted from the head of the Mattagami River.
This river formed part of the water route to Lake Superior in the days of the fur trade. Moose Factory, located on Moose Factory Island near the river's mouth, was a fur trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company and Ontario's first English settlement. Moosonee, Ontario, on the north bank of the river, is the northern terminus of the Polar Bear Express railway route which begins at Cochrane, Ontario.
The tributaries of this river include:
- Kwataboahegan River
- Cheepash River
- Abitibi River
- Mattagami River
- Missinaibi River
Moose River Bird Sanctuary
Moose River Bird Sanctuary lies at the mouth of the Moose River and comprises Ship Sands Island and a piece of land on the eastern flats of the river mouth. The 14.60 km² sanctuary is protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act and is part of the Southern James Bay wetland complex, which was designated a wetland of international importance (Ramsar Convention) in May 1987.
This area plays a significant role in the annual cycle of waterfowl. The funnel-shaped outline of Hudson and James bays causes birds migrating from the Arctic to concentrate at the southern end of James Bay each autumn, particularly in the late autumn, where the extensive coastal wetlands provide critical staging and moulting areas for migrating Lesser Snow Geese, dabbling ducks and shorebirds such as Red Knot, Short-billed Dowitcher, Dunlin, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Ruddy Turnstone, and American Golden Plover.
Settlement of Moose River
At mile 142 of the Polar Bear Express railway route there is a small settlement called Moose River. This settlement is just before a large railway bridge that crosses Moose River and is a flag stop on the Polar Bear Express rail route. There is an Ontario Northland Railway bunkhouse that used to be a school. The Moose River bridge was built in the 1930s and the settlement was a much larger community at that time. Currently the Moose River stop at mile 142 is used for the residents of the settlement and as a pick-up and drop-off site for boaters.